The social media companies that are circling the drain today had a very long run. They figured out how to use the law (copyright, patent, terms of service, contract) to make it much, much harder for upstarts to offer a way to gracefully exit the system. Because they had so many of the people that mattered to us trapped inside them, and because they made it so hard to leave, they could really treat us like garbage without risking our departure. They cut the surplus to the bone.And then…Stuff happened. Mark Zuckerberg got worried about losing users and decided we were all going to live as legless low-polygon cartoons in a metaverse that no one wanted to use, not even the Facebook employees who built it. Twitter got bought out by a low-attention-span, overconfident billionaire who started pulling out Jenga blocks to see whether the system would fall over, and when it did, we all got crushed by the falling blocks.