05 November 2021

Goodbye, Cruel (Social Media) World

Jaron Lanier, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.

Here they are in his own words (but go to the link and find his book):

1. You are losing your free will.

2. Quitting social media is the most finely targeted way to resist the insanity of our times.

3. Social media is making you into an asshole.

4. Social media is undermining truth.

5. Social media is making what you say meaningless.

6. Social media is destroying your capacity for empathy.

7. Social media is making you unhappy.

8. Social media doesn’t want you to have economic dignity.

9. Social media is making politics impossible.

10. Social media hates your soul.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

does reading and commenting on blogs count as 'social media'?

asking for a friend

Jim H. said...

at least for a while. yes.

thanks for asking. regards to friend.

Mongo, At The Moment said...

I agree with all but three of these points.

5. What I say on social media has as much meaning or profundity as it did before posting on social media -- meaning, very little. One aspect of Twitter (my chosen method of self-imprisonment) or any social media is to support the infantile notion that we are each stars of our own big-budget, Hollywould movies; that we are the center of all things. Nothing could be further from the truth.

6. The opposite for me, actually; I just posted this morning that in my Place O' Labor, I deal with senior leaders (SVP / EVP) in A Very Big Corporation. We discuss their technology needs, and what new tech needs to be piloted to meet strategic goals. Many of these leaders have "management styles" that border on abuse. When they act out (slamming a fist on a table, repeatedly, for example), I try to see them with as much compassion as possible -- because tomorrow, it will be me, triggered and acting out, and I'd hope others will treat me with the same level of compassion. I try to bring this into my social media-izing; mostly, it's snark for snark's sake.

10. Social media doesn't hate my soul so much as it manipulates the human psyche for a specific outcome ( to sell something; "flood the Zone with shit"; get a vote for Turd For Leader; get an emotional response). It's indifferent to my soul, which is as bad as hating it, I suppose.

'scuse me; gotta go prove I'm not a robot...

Jim H. said...

Every trace I leave on social media—every like, thumbs down, smiley face, comma, hashtag, link, friend, follower, word, paragraph, picture, etc.—creates a digital identity. (I almost said "my" digital identity; but it's clear it doesn't belong to me. vide Facebook, e.g.) That identity is eternal, or as eternal as the cloud, the web, the intertubes, or whatever. All it takes is the correct key for some other entity to reconstitute this new "me". And I suspect that quantum computing will one day crack the sense of security we have of our id's being scattered/distributed in the ether. I now question which is the "realer" me—the guy sitting here typing at my laptop keyboard (who is destined someday to die) or the digital identity that is forever uploaded. And I personally don't have the bandwidth currently to effectively curate this new identity.

This is an existential crisis. And not just for me. For humanity. This feels like the true direction of our evolution. Perhaps I'm just stuck in my parochial humanism, happy here in this mortal shell. Unwilling to pioneer this new reality any farther.

I'm not a robot.

Oh, really?????

Well,maybe not yet.

davidly said...

I forwent a comment inspired by this the day it went public. I'd hashed it out in my morning only to close it all down to avoid the irony. Rereading this now with the subsequent comments, I'm only inclined to paraphrase myself: The actual achievement of AI is us becoming robots. So it goes.