I was thrilled to see that Lush UK, the bath bomb and cosmetics company, is leaving social media, saying that they are, “tired of fighting with algorithms” and did not want to “pay to appear” in newsfeeds.
Sadly this is not the dawn of the fightback, but the start of a new social media approach. It looks to me as if they are creating their own in-house personality influencers. Splitting a corporate account into many “human” faces. It also looks as though they are going to be paying influencers to leverage their followers and ability to drive views.
I was really hoping that they were the sign of an advance guard of a social media rebellion, but no. They are using this moment to gain a bit of quick publicity before they dive even deeper into the gravitational swirl of the social media black hole. If everyone else is doing it so do they.
Personally I am so tired of it all. I was hoping, since I was an early adopter, that maybe I’m early to the desire to leave and get a real life back.
It’s not just that we are being played in a giant game by uncaring mega corporations but, as we post and share, we are under surveillance, having our data and our lives blatantly stolen and sold to the highest bidder in microsecond auctions, by Facebook, Google and all the others. Now everyone is at it. Anything that is called smart and connected to the internet is not for your convenience – it is designed to gain extra data sourcing revenues for the manufacturer as they observe your habits.
We are not the customers – we are the fodder from which the corporations grow fat, selling us and predictions of our behaviour to their real customers the advertisers.
That is the real reason why Lush is leaving – as they post on social media, they are not marketing their wares to their potential customers, they are providing data that is instantly analysed and sold to their competitors – it’s almost industrial espionage – certainly self-sabotage to continue.
Is it really possible to withdraw from social media or have we crossed the event horizon of social media, beyond which there is no return?