First, everybody was gonna have a website, then they were gonna have a blog, then a page on Facebook and now pictures on Instagram. What do all these endeavors have in common? They’re passing fads. Because it was too much work and too few people were paying attention.
America is evolving into niches. I’m not talking entertainment, I’m talking people themselves. Zuckerberg has it right that we want private groups, because these are the only people who care about us.
It was all about garnering attention. But after you connected on Facebook with all the people you went to school with and distanced yourself from for good reason, what was your next move?
It’s kind of like the seventies. After the tumultuous sixties, we had the back to the land movement. And the personal development movement, i.e. EST, and Tom Wolfe labeled the era the “Me Decade.”
We are on the verge of another Me Decade. History repeats, but always with a twist. People are overwhelmed with information. They can’t make sense of it. They’re trying to figure out how to tune it out.
Yes, you have the coastal baby boomers with their anti-smartphone campaigns, but ignore them, they just want to jet back to a past that will never come back. Your smartphone opens your life, makes it easier, and it’s all personalized to you. This is the personalization that will become prominent in the twenties.
I’m not talking about tech personalization, robot personalization, algorithm personalization, this personalization will come from the users themselves. They’ll choose the info they want and the people they want to connect with. And it will be relatively few.
The internet allows us to reach everybody, but everybody is not listening. We had the Vine people, and now the social media “influencers.” They’re a fad. Because the truth is most people don’t care about them. Sure, there’s room for a few big ones, but…
I’ll give you an example. Wipe out your Twitter account and start over. Good luck getting the same number of followers. Or start a new Facebook page and see how many friends you can garner. That’s something people did years ago that they’re no longer into, they delete the invites. As for Instagram, fine if you’re posting the photos for your friends, for your circle, but if you think you can reach more, you’re deluded.
That’s right, putting on your best face, curating your image, that will be passe. We’re evolving into a more honest era, where it’s all about what your friends think of you. And the truth is they’ll forgive flaws, that’s what makes you human. And all those makeup tutorials on YouTube, the purveyors are going to give up and not be replaced.
This is a complete reset. A disassembling of the twentieth century model of gatekeepers and number ones. And the early internet model of virality. Virality is almost dead. No one has the time for it. If your friend recommends something, you’ll check it out, otherwise, you’ll ignore it.
Friends have points of reference. There will be a switch to real life as opposed to internet life. Of course, friends will utilize the internet and the smartphone to ease their existence, but they’ll mostly use these tools to gain information and communicate with their friends.
So marketing will become ever more difficult.
But also the aspirational culture we live in will decline. Everybody wanted to be rich and famous. Turns out very few people can be rich and famous. So why try? Everybody was gonna write an app, nobody does that anymore. Apps are something you get for free, they’re not a way to get rich.
As for getting rich… The millennials and Gen-Z are far different from their forebears. It’s not enough just to have money, how did you earn it, do you give back? Forget the disinformation paraded in the media, about influencers frolicking and flying on private jets. Everybody’s resetting their aspirations. They want fulfillment, not fame. And no one can be as famous as the stars of yesteryear.
It’s like America will become a nation of small towns. Because you don’t want to feel like a number.
Amazon is becoming the king of advertisers, because that’s where you go to shop, you only see ads for what you’re interested in. Google is losing. As for the ads you get in websites, where Facebook and Google triumph? Turns out algorithms don’t work, because they’re not personal. We’re looking for the personal touch in the machine age. Start with honesty and credibility and work from there. Everybody hates spam.
And you can be on TV and unknown.
Have an article about you in the paper and get no traction.
You’ve got to infect group by group. And the process is much slower, even though the internet is instantaneous.
We’re overloaded, we’re fatigued with what’s going on. We don’t want to hear about new, new, new, we just want to have relationships with a few enterprises and call it a day.
The internet barons are out of touch because they think tech solves all problems.
But that is untrue. And the public knows it.
So everybody will have a story and only their close friends will know it.
And everyone will be happier.