Dear Social Media, Design for Humans, not Metrics

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Illustration by Chris Fernandex

Dear social media,

There are so many times that I can’t stand you anymore. It’s a sour relationship we’ve built. And I don’t want it to be that way. I’ve had so many great moments with you. Of discovery, of play, of fascination, of connection with friends and family. I miss those moments of meaning and intent.

But, you’ve gotten out of hand. You’ve taken me to a level of distraction that I just can’t take anymore.

You say to me, every single time I land on your site or your app:

Enough already…

It’s so frustrating. I go to you, with a task in mind, and right away, you take me so far away from where I want to be.

My mind, my focus, they feel highjacked.

Will you let me go, let me be free? Allow the freedom to remember what I actually want to do? Will you allow me the ability to focus on one thing? Will you allow me to ever feel done?

Please, for heavens sake, stop designing my life with your metrics, design for me. Please understand my new view, my new perspective of the world. Understand that focus and flow are areas I need to develop to allow peace in my life. To allow more happiness in our lives. To allow fulfillment in life.

Please keep allowing me to explore, I love to explore. But can you also allow this focus?

Your job as a platform is to enable me. Not to distract me. In designing for metrics, in optimizing for numbers, I feel you are forgetting about my mental health. Forgetting there are humans behind those actions and goals you track to increase your views, your clicks, and optimizing for time spent.

Design for my health, stop designing to enable your own growth. This type of thinking, it’s hurting me and your other customers on a deeper level, even if they don’t know it yet.

And I, I’m personally so tired of going to YouTube, going to Facebook, going to Instagram, only to find myself swept away into a flow that I didn’t want to be in. “Waking up” 5/10/15 minutes asking myself, why am I doing this right now? Why I am I living this virtual life forcing my real life to be the background noise?

Health driven growth. Sustainable growth, for individuals, for the world. Can you do that for me? Because if you don’t, I have to leave. And I really don’t want to.

But it’s slowly happening. And I’m finding new ways to explore content. New ways to feel connected. And it’s more focused, more intentful. You should catch up, it’s pretty great here.

P.s. I’ll try a bit longer, but you don’t have much time.

Respectfully waiting,
Olivia

Designing products & life to bring more joy

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