The new rules of the social media era | The Insight Files |

The cultural premium now placed on recording and broadcasting one’s life and accomplishments means that social media has a problem. In a digital landscape built on attention and visibility, what matters is not so much the content of updates, but their existing at all. Social broadcasts are not communications, but records of existence and accumulating metadata. Furthermore, the ubiquity of digital photography, along with image-heavy social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Imgur, Snapchat and Facebook, has changed what it means to take and collect photos. Photos become less about memorialising a moment than communicating the reality of that moment to others. Social media's culture of sharing and storytelling, its lack of long-term memory and the use of news and information to build social capital are examples of this phenomenon. Find out more.