Alone in the accelerated world – Vorarlberger Nachrichten

There are currently five social media platforms on which I am – more or less – active: X (formerly Twitter), Bluesky, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram. And in the next few days, I'll probably sign up for number six, Threads. This new microblogging platform from the American group Meta, which brings together Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has also been available in the EU since Thursday. Mark Zuckerberg's app is a mix of Elon Musk's short messaging service X and Instagram, designed for moving images. And Threads also means new competition for the Bluesky platform, which former Twitter founder Jack Dorsey created as a project in 2019 and turned into an independent alternative in 2021 – the world of American tech billionaires is like the endless soap opera ” Rich and Beautiful, “People just look worse.

More recently, like many others, I moved into a second home on Bluesky – and now also on Wires. Where do you find the time to play all this, where do you find your courage? My excuse is my work as a journalist, information and communication on social networks are part of the job today. Entire business models depend on these platforms; they bring attention and recognition to those who use them. But we must recognize that the increasing fragmentation of the network landscape and the constant opening of a new account on the popular platform of the moment reveal a profound lack of meaning: everyone communicates everywhere and as best they can, but no longer with others. A symbol of the world in which we stay for ourselves. And a defeat for the idea of ​​a real exchange.

Social philosopher Jürgen Habermas described these developments in his new book 2022; He does not see digital platforms as the realization of a direct and deliberative democracy, one of its guiding principles, but as the promotion of a society which is fragmenting into “semi-publics” and losing its common points of reference: the Internet . once gave us the exact opposite hope. Today we look more and more like EPMs, individual media outlets that broadcast their messages across different networks. And due to fragmentation, even today's large EPMs can no longer expect to be able to create extremely popular accounts in the future. Losses are expected.

As an individual, you can no longer keep up with the acceleration and dynamism of the world, despite your best efforts. Perhaps the old-fashioned idea of ​​cohesion will become more attractive again.

“Today, we are becoming EPMs, media in their own right, broadcasting our messages on different networks. »

Julia Ortner

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Julia Ortner is a journalist from Vorarlberg, she lives in Vienna and works for the ORF report.

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