The other day some 200+ Billions worth of valuation were wiped out from Facebook—I just refuse to call it Meta. The primary reason behind that? Probably the fact that for the first time ever the user base decreased.
Facebook has almost 3B monthly active users. There's roughly 7.7B of us on this planet at the moment. Around 26% of the world population is below 15 years old. That's 2B people. You have to be at least 13 to sign up on Facebook. Which means, roughly speaking, that the available pool of users for FB is around 5.7B. Now, out of those we need to remove people who don't have internet access which is apparently 3B people according to the UN. So that brings us to 2.7B potential users.
But didn't we say that Facebook has almost 3B active monthly users? We sure did. Which is why I personally find all this absurd. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less about Facebook and yes, I'm certain that some good people work there—you know who you are—but this is not a post to rant about Facebook.
The point is this absurd pursuit of endless growth which is brought to extremes in this case. But this is far from the only place where this social sickness shows up. Do you think you can run out of things to watch on YouTube? Or songs to listen to on Spotify? Or books to read?
More seems to be the only important mode of operation in today's world. We need more of everything and yet we seem to be more and more stressed out by all this more, and we strive to achieve some other type of more: more free time, more silence, more quietness. It's bizarre.
And us content creators—because yes, I do consider myself a content creator of some sort—are responsible for at least part of this mess when it comes to the internet. Because we wilfully partake in this game where in order to bubble up the top you need to constantly produce. More content, longer content, more frequent content. And to do that we need to earn money. More money. Producing constant content requires constant cash flow. And so we need subscriptions and memberships and ad revenues. And when that's not enough we turn to merchandising because that's what the world needs: more crap.
I'd love to offer an alternative. But I'm afraid I can't. That's just the reality of the world we live in and I doubt there's anything we can do about it. Yet.