What do you consider time-well-spent on social media? - The most important question for user growth

Social media addiction has become more or less an epidemic of itself the past 10-15 years. You'll read articles here and there about how teenage girls are more depressed due to instagram, how someone felt their life changed for the better after deleting their social media accounts, or how the average time spent on social media is reaching absurd numbers.

As a platform seeking to challenge the market share of most traditional social media platforms, understanding this issue is therefore crucial. How can we avoid recreating the same issues found on the platforms that people seem to mostly hate themselves for spending too much time on? How can we instead focus on solving the problems and providing the values that people turned to social media platforms for in the first place?

What do you consider time well spent?

Speaking for myself, I enjoy being able to stay somewhat up to date with big life events of people in my network. Including people I don't even talk to anymore. It's fun, interesting, and sometimes even inspiring to see people get new jobs, move to new countries, get married or have kids. While I may regret all the time spent looking at dull pictures of people's food or party-selfies, it can feel nice to see where people are heading in life. It often allows for reflection on what picture I used to have of a person, and if it turns out to be true or not.

Secondly, I enjoy taking part in constructive discussions, including with strangers, on topics that I find interesting. It could range from politics to science or fitness programs, meal plans, and personal finance advice. As long as I don't take it too seriously, and have the option to easily opt-out of discussions with trolls or lunatics.

But perhaps most important: I value being able to connect with new people with whom I share an interest or passion, people with who I may have the potential to collaborate on something, or just people who are nice and with whom an unexpected friendship can emerge.

I could say a lot about the past 4 years on this chain. But one thing is certain, it is the only "social media" I've ever used where I've made new lasting friendships.

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Our blockchain has provided me with new connections, friendships and unique experiences that no other social platform has even come close to Here with @firepower, @timsaid, @gringalicious, @lukestokes, @teodora, @sflovik, @robinron and @howo.

Sure. Not every new Hive user will go as far down the rabbit hole that they go to future Hive-fests, community meetups, or find someone to build a dApp with. However, understanding what people consider time-well-spent on a social platform, and doing everything to help maximize that, will result in better retention and higher network effect as people are more likely to recommend it to others.

I would therefore love to see more of our projects spend more time answering this question, and asking themselves how they can make changes to their products with this as a priority. I really do think that Hive would need no other pitch to new users than this:

Join Hive, the social platform owned by the users. Where the community decides what's best for itself and not what's best for one single company's profits.

But to do this, we need to help our dApp and frontend developers create proucts that we want to spend more time on. So therefore I ask, what do you consider time well spent on a social platform? And how could that be better served by the popular interfaces that we've got?

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