I’ve been doing some reading on the effects of social media (facebook, insta, twitter, etc.) on our collective psyche. Here’s a few things I’ve learned from an interesting guy by the name of Jaron Lanier, former Silicon Valley guru now turned fierce critic of all things he helped create.
The core strategy and business model of social media as we know it is to let algorithms figure out and adapt to the ways that engage us as much as possible. The more engagement, the more they can sell your attention to advertisers. Since negative emotions are more readily accessible and longer lasting than positive ones (we remember pain), the systems adapt to drive you toward ever more negative emotions with the occasional positive one thrown in (a like, perhaps) to keep you coming back for more.
In other words, the whole thing is engineered to make you unhappy over time and increasingly addicted. Even worse, addiction is associated with anhedonia – the lessened ability to find pleasure in life apart from your addiction. So collectively we’re increasingly engaging with something that drives addiction and negative feelings AND makes the rest of life less pleasurable. Wow.
So here’s the good news. We all have a choice when it comes to these luxuries. Remove the app, delete the account, do whatever it takes to break the pull. Kick entropy in the face, remember? I want to keep finding MORE joy and love, not less. So I’ve removed it from my phone and logged out of it on my computer. I’m clear on what I believe and the life I want. I won’t allow social media to be a deterrent from my OPUS. That’s my principle. What’s yours?
4 thoughts on “Day 135: Smart…”
RH, Have come a long way with this…but will continue to ensure my time – IS MY TIME. Thank you for the reminder…Spot on.
Much love and sunshine from the NW.
Kicking it in the face everyday, my friend. Every damn day.
Rachel, I haven’t the pleasure of meeting you yet – hopefully soon! This spoke to me and I nearly used the ‘Human response to negatives vs positives’ in BTL with Andrew last week; I got sidetracked with work – but your writing spoke to me today! We remember the songs we DONT like, we remember NOT to walk a certain pathway because there are snakes there, but try to remember the last true JOY we had becomes difficult; we struggle with what we got for Christmas last year, or “Good News” during out Level 10 meetings… practice recalling those good things helps — but we are hardwired NOT to walk into the mouth of the Lion, or touch that hot stove again. Thanks for this today — the science behind the things we seem to depend on today helps me push it back even more. Have a great day!
Hi Beverly! Thanks for the comment – looking forward to meeting you as well. Your comment is spot on re: hardwiring AND that we can PRACTICE focusing on the joy. Today’s post is all about that – you beat me to the punch.