A year or so ago, I heard about the “dead internet theory.” If you've never heard of it, then by all means, open another tab in your browser, and search for it. It’ll change your view of the online world.
With maybe the exception of some of your Facebook and Instagram friends, no one is reading your social media posts. Nor are they looking at your photos on any other platform. Essentially, you're shouting into the online void.
You could try to spend every waking moment producing content, cross posting to other platforms, commenting on other peoples posts, following tons of accounts, engaging, posting more content, trying to find what the algorithm wants, making videos, jumping on trends, paying for fake followers, and still the chances are that you won't get noticed on social media. It's a soulless and empty pursuit in the name of followers and likes. No wonder why social media depresses people.
Increasingly, professional content creators have expressed concerns about their follower count, engagement, and likes decreasing on various platforms. Moreover, if you’re not constantly producing content, then you’re not going to get noticed. There's also a good chance, none of your earlier content will ever get seen again.
Ask yourself, what is this all for? Likes? Followers? From whom? Who are these people? Are they even real, or just bots? Why would you tie your sense of self worth to all of this nonsense?
Many of the accounts that you see are purely bots that post content that isn't even their own. Ever seen a movie clip from some random account? What about the same viral video posted again and again?
The posts that you're seeing are sent your way to drive engagement. The content that you often see is rage bait, political / ideological messaging, violence, or far too often are from the dumbest, most vile, disturbed, insane, and nastiest people in the world. Why do we put up with that?
I have no clear answers, but like the idea of social media. It could be a great way to spread your creative content to more people, engage with others, and share idea, or it could be a giant waste of time.
For me, I use Facebook to share photos and funny thoughts with friends and family. Everything else, I dabble and play with, but don't expect great results or a massive following. None of this social media stuff is real life, so it's important not to take it too seriously. For more information on why I blog, check out my about page.
Below is a prime example of what typically happens on these platforms. You post something into the void, and never get a response. Notice how little or no engagement it gets (dead internet).