The stuff this article lays out was really starting to bother me in the last year or so. I’m not sure what prompted it, but I began to observe my wife using social media and when I saw how much time she spent on it, thought that perhaps I should do the same to myself.
I realized that I was being manipulated and not in a way that benefitted me, as far as I could tell. And I don’t care for that. I was spending an inordinate amount of time absorbing things that mostly don’t matter and not feeling enriched. I knew all the variations on the latest memes but didn’t feel like I had any insight. Basically, I was wasting my time. It’s not like I feel I have to be productive all the time, but I’d at least prefer to feel contemplative. Instead, I felt like the read head on a ticker tape.
I actually got rid of my smartphone as a result of this and, really, I’m not missing it.
What drives me up the wall about this is that people are so drawn into the websites that were listed in the article that they have the audacity to give me a snarky attitude when I tell them that I don’t have accounts there (Facebook, LinkedIn). It is so selfish for these tech companies to not only psychologically hijack people’s minds, but to get them so deeply ingrained in their products that their own consumers defend it with these snarky attitudes. I really dislike the kind of social media we have to put up with in today’s world. Time is not being well spent, it is being wasted.
Social media isn’t to blame for snarky attitudes. The people who give you the snark are to blame.
Imagine a digital “bill of rights” outlining design standards that forced the products used by billions of people to support empowering ways for them to navigate toward their goals.
This scares me
If you are not paying for it, then you are the product.
Dropping the same comment in every thread is lazy. It also doesn’t make any sense for many of the given examples. I do pay for milk, but the grocery store still hides it in the back.
Not sure what you mean by other threads. I suppose a lot of people are angry about the wasted time on these networks. It certainly is worth repeating when a human is reduced to nothing but “eye balls”.
Is it worth repeating? How many times? What insight do readers gain from such comments? If it’s a comment that can be made by bot scanning articles for keywords, it may be less valuable than you think.
If anything it’s harmful. There’s a lot more to this article, and such oversimplification encourages people to skip it as more of the same.
Imagine if oil companies started to plant trees instead!
I realize that my comment was a bit glib. Let me elaborate. This article raises a lot of valid points about feature sets that companies are building which are harmful and subtly manipulative. However, the author offers no effective remedy other than pleading with us to imagine a world where these companies just decide to build less manipulative products.
As long as these tactics bring in money they will be used. If we want to change the products we have to change the incentives.