Internet social media has been a series of steps shortening the creation process to post thoughts online. A website is a 3-dimensional model of a set of thoughts or abstract concepts. Each page is a static whole and a part of a wide context. Pages can be aggregated along a menu system, a system of categories, and a system of tags. A particular page can exist in multiple places in the menu system. In Joomla, it can only be in one category. It can have many tags. Menus, categories, and tags are hierarchical and can represent orthogonal structures of concepts or thoughts. The page creator lays his content into a conceptual web composed of the website's structures.
Blogs are primarily structured along a time axis. They are a flow of thoughts across time. A website can incorporate a blog as this site does on its landing page. But blogs can exist alone without the expressiveness of a website. Blogs usually incorporate tags.
I don't like Facebook. You get a brief thought, which you can share with a select audience with minimal effort. You can easily attach underscoring media, such as a photograph or a brief video. You come away with a false sense that you have communicated something to an audience that is actually listening. You gain a feeling of accomplishment, of authorship. Then your communication becomes part of an unsearchable stream of other trivial thoughts that follow in time sequence into near oblivion. Or worse, as a demagogue, you conjure up some half-truth or lie, create some slick media with it, and publish it to a focused group of followers who take your post as truth because it is on the Internet, despite the complete lack of any standard of proof, and contribute to the increasing polarization and shallowness of American politics.
But Facebook is just part of the trend. Twitter has reduced communication to 140 characters. We have a president who fits the times. He struggles to be coherent in 140 characters. There can be no complete thoughts on Twitter, only impressions and memes. It is the deconstruction of thought.
I originally wrote this in 2017, but the reductionist trend has continued with Instagram, TickToc, and a host of others. So far, the trend has most notably given us the thrown election of 2016 and teen depression. Between 2005 and 2017, as social media use spiked among teens, the rate of teen depression rose 52%. Social media is not a genie that has been let out of its bottle; it is a monster that has escaped from its cage. But I am not naive enough to be a Luddite advocating for its elimination. But I am also not naive enough to believe that things will always tend to be better.