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Stop Talking to Each Other and Start Buying Things: Three Decades of Survival in the Desert of Social Media:

Prodigy was upset that people were, by and large, using the free communication service they tossed on there just to have more content and not their weird Random Garbage You Don’t Need Storefront. And in many ways, that complaint has only gotten louder over the decades. Stop talking to each other and start buying things. Stop providing content for free and start paying us for the privilege. Stop shining sunlight on horrors and start advocating for more of them. Stop making communities and start weaponizing misinformation to benefit your betters.

It’s the same. It’s always been the same. Stop benefitting from the internet, it’s not for you to enjoy, it’s for us to use to extract money from you. Stop finding beauty and connection in the world, loneliness is more profitable and easier to control.

Stop being human. A mindless bot who makes regular purchases is all that’s really needed.

I often catch myself having a knee-jerk “What did you expect? They’re a profit-seeking entity” response whenever some company puts the screws to the cool things being done in the margins, but I feel like I need to overcome that kind of cynicism.

It sucks that every time people find a cool, creative, positive use for one of these platforms, I know it will get wiped out as soon as the VC funding runs out and the company has to figure out how to make money. We should be able to have nice things that aren’t just a coincidental side effect. Having nice things and making people’s lives better should be the point of all of this, not an afterthought.

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