Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack BrandtSeptember 13, 2023

Zaldivar seeks to innovate social media


Senior Kevin Zaldivar, senior, and his partner Sanjay Karki, who is a former Augustana student, have started working on an application that hopes to deliver lasting connections between people and not more absences like on applications Facebook and Instagram and numerous others.
“I noticed that we have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, these countless ways to communicate with people,” Zaldivar said. “Yet there is this real absence of a connection between people.”
Zaldivar mentions that the application Linkedin people can connect with businesses, but that it still has the same hurdles as if the person had to apply in person. Meaning that people were not being helped out by Linkedin as they thought was going to happen.
“For Linkedin and Facebook, for example, people would argue that we don’t need another social media network,” Zaldivar said. “With these new social media innovations, it creates these barriers. The industry can recognize that without certain features they won’t succeed, but they are also missing out on other ways of connecting people.”
Zaldivar hopes that the application, currently being called Logprofile, will connect people better and not just add to the noise of a few billion people on social media.
“What we are trying to do with this new application is to erase those barriers through an automation process instead of adding and requesting,” Zaldivar said. “Enforcing yourself to really search for these groups. It is more of taking all of your information and puts you there automatically. We want to put people together as fluidly as possible.”
The model of the application would be for people to learn about themselves. Zaldivar thinks that the current system of social media is making people lose their identities.
“You see people post the happiest points in their life and then we think to ourselves as we watch that ‘“Wow, what am I doing?”’. So in a way, social media has created this stigma of loss of an identity,” Zaldivar said.
People lose sight of who they are once their world is a constant barrage of meaningless interactions.
Zaldivar explains that the artificial intelligence in the application would analyze posts and connect the person with other individuals interested in the same thing.
“You start talking with them in the community and start hanging out,” Zaldivar said. “You know all the things we thought social media was going to do for us. Instead of sitting back in a room and be on the phone the whole time. Be proactive. I think this is the perfect way to learn about ourselves more. Taking care of how we use our time online. Being able to know ourselves in a world where we don’t know ourselves. We want to start talking to people. We want to know what they think.”
Zaldivar and Karki will be on a local radio station in Dallas, Texas at the end of this month to promote their new application.
“We are desiring to not be ourselves anymore. We are desiring something that is out of our reach,” Zaldivar said. “When we do have our own personal desires it is so hard to achieve them. We need to recognize that social media is this fake blanket.”
Zaldivar mentions the application Tinder where people match with countless others and then never speak to each other. Zaldivar mentions that social media is having this weird vibe where innovation seems to be lacking.
“We need to start reminding ourselves of why we are with these people,” Zaldivar said. “What are we doing on social media and why are we one there?”
Photo by Brady Johnson

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Zaldivar seeks to innovate social media