Andy on Twitter

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Into the Dark Forest We Go

I’m encountering more and more friends that are retreating from social media and finding new ways and places to engage. Tired of the spam, trolls, fake news, real news, and more… they are done. Yancey expresses this trend well.

The Internet is becoming a dark forest.

In response to the ads, the tracking, the trolling, the hype, and other predatory behaviors, we’re retreating to our dark forests of the internet, and away from the mainstream.

Podcasts are another example. There, meaning isn’t just expressed through language, but also through intonation and interaction. Podcasts are where a bad joke can still be followed by a self-aware and self-deprecating save. It’s a more forgiving space for communication than the internet at large.

Dark forests like newsletters and podcasts are growing areas of activity. As are other dark forests, like Slack channels, private Instagrams, invite-only message boards, text groups, Snapchat, WeChat, and on and on. This is where Facebook is pivoting with Groups (and trying to redefine what the word “privacy” means in the process).

These are all spaces where depressurized conversation is possible because of their non-indexed, non-optimized, and non-gamified environments. The cultures of those spaces have more in common with the physical world than the internet.

That isn’t to suggest Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others are going away. But some of our attention will. And that has huge implications for marketers.

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