The Rise of Local Social Media
As social media has become a hot topic of complaint, the tech industry is racing to create better solutions. There has been a steady rise of new projects focused on local social media. With location and a map view in focus, new platforms seek to connect you with people nearby. Why is it that we keep finding new apps to connect with people locally? Are people fed up with fake users and spam or are they starting to see how much of a negative impact social media has on their mental health? Both? It seems that local social media might be the solution to all their concerns.
Ok, so let’s start with fake users and spam. It’s no secret that Elon Musk hates fake accounts…especially on Twitter. :)
So, how do regular folks who don’t gross billions of dollars every year feel? Whether you realize it or not, many accounts across almost all the mainstream social platforms buy (fake) likes and follows. Yep. Believe it or not, a good deal of those accounts you see with thousands of followers actually bought them. But wait! Don’t run off and Google “how to buy instagram followers” just yet. Having a lot of followers might look good on paper, but it does two things to your account that are really bad!
1: Having fake followers means that social media algorithms will associate your real account with many fake accounts.
That means you’ll get content in your news feeds from bots. You’ll get suggestions to follow accounts which are…also fake. And worst of all, your content will be recommend to more fake accounts than real accounts. It’s a black hole to be honest and usually leads to spending more money to purchase likes to keep up with the crummy algorithms.
2: Having fake followers kills your credibility
Especially in social influencer circles, most users have caught on. Users are smarter than they were 10 years ago when social media was just starting to get popular. They know what to look for when it comes to accounts that cheated to get ahead. They can quickly scan your profile and follower list and see that many of your connections ARE NOT REAL. Sorry about it, but the best path forward is to take a more organic approach to building connections.
…So to answer my question from early…No, people do not like the plague of fake users and bots on social media. You don’t have to be Elon Musk to see that it distracts from creating real connections and sharing creative content with real people that we actually care about reaching.
Ok, so fake users are one thing, but what about mental health? Is social media healthy?
The short answer is no. Today’s social media is NOT healthy! If you don’t believe me, go watch The Social Dilemma. A short documentary can explain it much better than I can. You can also read more at the Center for Humane Technology if you want to take a more active role in being part of the solution.
But don’t stop there! We still haven’t answered our first question…or maybe we have.
Why are there so many local social media apps popping up?
Is the answer obvious yet? For one, the pandemic is ending…hopefully…and people want to reconnect AND people want real connections. We’re tired of digital connection. People want social media that leads to real world friendships. Sure we still need ways to connect with friends and loved ones at a distance, but plenty of those solutions already exist.
…so what are some of these local social networks that we recommend. Here’s a few, starting with the app I’m helping develop at Therr, Inc.
Therr is a local-first social network that is hyper-focused on helping you detox from mainstream social media, and make more connections in the real world. When you post geotagged content, it’s only shared with people who pass by your geography from day to day. So if you share a post in the city, only locals or tourists can activate it. After you activate content it gets added to your news reel indefinitely. Filter out all the junk and enjoy social media with virtually zero fake accounts.
Venn means friend in Norwegian. With Venn you can meet people nearby who share similar interests. It’s a great way to connect or reconnect and find spaces where the people you vibe with spend the most time.
Share experiences with Local Buzz and post about local community events. Find new restaurants, discover a local band, or see what’s happening in the city. Keep it local and support local businesses.
Get In the Loop
This Canada based app focuses on local shopping and earning rewards. They have a sort of franchise business model, so you could even start a branch in your own city if they don’t offer it already. What could be better than earning rewards for social interactions in your community?
OK, that’s 4 options, but there are many many more. There is no shortage of ways to escape the infinite grind of trying to get popular on Instagram or TikTok. Don’t let social media drain your energy and leave you feeling like the day was wasted. Also, I’m not saying you should delete your accounts, but maybe a little break wouldn’t hurt. Take some time to see what else is really out there!