• Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    Social media got us.Ranger

    Except that you can let go; delete your accounts. You will survive and continue to flourish. People who delete their social media accounts don't shrivel up and die.

    Certainly, social media is designed to keep us on its hook. No surprise there. Older forms of :social media" like newspapers, magazines, movie theaters, coffee shops, etc. used approaches that kept us coming back for more. We seek pleasurable experiences, and when we find them we return. It's not a fault; it is just the way brains work. Some people are put together in such a way that that they come back to social media a lot more, and it becomes a habit, then almost a compulsion, and maybe more than "almost". It is a compulsion.

    For most of us social media remains at the habit level. We don't develop compulsions; we don't become addicted to Facebook, or weed, or alcohol. We use it, and stop when we have had enough. (It's not virtue; most people respond to satiation by stopping.)

    A more serious fault in social media are the systems of reporting popularity, which causes some people to confuse "trending" with "truthfulness". "Trend" and "Truth" really aren't very similar concepts, but they have gotten confused by a lot of people. Trending items can be goosed in various ways to generate surges in popularity, which looks even more like truth to some people.

    Yellow journalism (which was epidemic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) ruthlessly lied and slandered for the purpose of generating newsstand sales. An early example is the treatment in the press of a plague outbreak in San Francisco several years prior to the 1906 earthquake. Various companies, Hearst's newspapers among them, either (or both) raised hysteria or denial. Their ruthless misrepresentations effectively screwed an appropriate public health response. [The consequences are enduring: the pool of plague (Yersinia pestis) in chronically infected rats and rodents in the southwestern US is the direct result.]

    The best place to get reliable information about the world is still the reputable, vetted press. It isn't as provocative as the disreputable media (like the White House PR department or Fox News) but it is much more reliable.
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