Re-imagining social media 

Thought experiment


Philip Cadoux
Ibrahim Hashmat
Daniel R Johnston
Tinrey Wang
Stela Xhiku

Esther Zhang
November 2020

Slow down bb

a. YouTube office hours

Adding a floodgate to Youtube by restricting the time and changing the way we share. Having a ‘share request’ button and having the creator approve each share should slow the spread down. But we took it a step further (because why not) – and made the ‘share’ process as painful as applying to colleges. SoP for your share!

Now, let’s all write essays on why we want to share this Funny Cats and Kittens Meowing Compilation video. And wait for some dude in a basement to read and approve it.

b. Unselective exposure

The other thing we thought would be interesting to challenge/change how social media impacts our opinions. While it stems from a genuine place, we are all seeing the toxicity of the cancel-culture. People are becoming less empathetic towards any view (political or otherwise) that’s different from theirs.

Perhaps it’s the way our algorithms work. All the ‘based on people you follow’ and ‘based on things you like’ is restricting the content that we’re consuming, and heightening our political-selectivism and our already selective perception. We need more people to at least try to understand the other PoV and not live in ignorance. 

This is not tied to a particular app, but it’s a function that many of them could adopt. Some anti-algorithm time.

Liberal? Watch what the conservatives are watching

c. WhatsApp SMS

This came up just because we were missing the old SMS days.
No emojis, no double-ticks, no images, no audios, just plain conversation

When the only forwards we had to worry about were the “Forward this or you’ll die in seven days” ones and not the is-this-real-or-is-this-fake ones.

rajshree saraf, May 2022