Platforms like Facebook, Reddit and the hot mess formerly known as Twitter are alienating users like never before. ‘Web3 doesn’t let you be a dick and get away with it,’ writes Joonatan Lintala, CEO of Phaver.
A rebirth in Web3
While the Web2 social media giants have been engaged in a user-alienating race to the bottom, others have attempted to play them at their own game. If you don’t like the rules, they reason, go create your own. For such imagineers, this generally involves setting up shop in Web3, that vast domain where censorship is the enemy and decentralized storage replaces centralized servers.
As its advocates have found, Web3 is not a remedy for everything that’s wrong with Web2. For one thing, creating network effects is hard for any emerging application, let alone one intent on taking a bite out of Facebook’s breakfast. There’s also a learning curve to Web3, over and above that which comes with mastering a new network, which is often too much for tech novices to face.
Choose your destiny
Ultimately, Web3 is about freedom of choice. It’s okay to opt into ads and be rewarded for watching them via the attention economy’s tokenization of time. It’s also okay to shun the micro-rewards and opt out altogether. It’s okay to monetize your data or to keep it under lock and key. And it’s okay to maintain pseudonymity while forging bonds with like-minded strangers you’d unwittingly walk past on the street but die for on the internet.