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Concerns that social media causes childhood depression (bbc.co.uk)
237 points by pmoriarty 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 99 comments

One issue that I have never seen recognized is the affect of isolation on people.

People who use computers a lot tend to be physically isolated. Social media provides a simulation of social engagement that works on some levels of the brain but is incomplete and missing physical touch, smell, and other aspects of presence.

It is my suspicion that some of the negative effects of attributed to social media/gaming/etc are actually caused by the isolation that compulsive computer use results in and that people are essentially putting themselves in solitary confinement without realizing it and experiencing similar psychological outcomes.

A side effect is that I've found myself having a harder time to pick up the phone. In person I am no different than when I was using less screen time, but the habit of calling has deteriorated and now I have to be obedient. Every day there is a set period of time where I make calls.

I found the same thing, conversations over the phone can feel awkward and unnatural. It takes a lot of constant use to get over this feeling, for me at least.

Therefore, after a period of communicating purely via text I start to feel the awkwardness again. And this, sometimes, means I actually put off making calls, which only makes things worse.

I've gotten so far, that I didn't have a phone. Then I got a dumb phone. Now I'm using a Nexus, but I still dislike making calls. Mostly taxi or other inevitable situations :)

A better society will help us to be less depressed.

I have had some experiences with ill-behaving companies. Where bosses think that employees need to be in fear so they are more productive. Where people is told to "never make a mistake" or they will be fired. You get the picture. People is depressed. You see people actually crying at their job.

I have also worked for functioning companies. People is valued and get positive feedback on their job. Mistakes are investigated to get an understanding and improve the processes to help people but personal blaming is forbidden. Where the manager´s job is to help employees to achieve their potential and support them.

In the first situation people is depressed and unhappy. People is paranoic and don´t trust each other. A blaming culture rewards lying about the status of projects and their results.

In the second situation people is more happy at work. Meetings are constructive and ways of improving the company are found. People find themselves realized at work.

Social media is just a mirror of society. It magnifies its uglyness or its greatness. I love to get into social media and see nature pictures from one friend. Another one composes music and shares it on-line. Most people will react joining into a good joke and answering with some one has a practical question. I love to be on social media, but I can understand how different that experience will be for others. Like the two companies I described, the same personal circunstances can be seen as gloomy or fantastic by the influence of your environment.

Social media can, and maybe should be regulated, but the only solution to the problem is better education that values the indivual while encourage to work for the better of all society. And then society is going to be able to look at the mirror and like the image that is sees.

Social media is not a mirror of society.

When I go and spend time with friends or family, I’m doing it fairly unrestrained and of my own will. Sitting around a dinner table chatting about whatever only involves the people at the dinner table.

Social media takes this idea and tries to move it into a browser seemingly innocuously, but adds algorithms and manipulations all with an end goal of selling attention to advertisers and personal information to marketing companies.

It may feel like it’s just the real world society except online, but every little interaction is so drastically transformed, you’re left with something completely different.

Your picture fairly accurately describes Facebook.

It's not as accurate for Twitter, and is totally off mark (fortunately) for things like Mastodon or Dreamwidth.

Yup, nobody seems to be addressing the issue that we appear to have raised and enabled a generation of bullies using these technologies. Seems a vastly bigger issue than the medium itself, or the vague implication that it's the victim's fault for using social media in the first place.

Bullies are, unfortunately, a historical constant, and are entirely orthogonal to the platform on which they engage in bullying activities. From ugly newspaper articles, through death threats delivered by letters, to that guy from elementary school who threatened to punch you if you didn't give him your lunch money - it's a people problem, not a platform problem.

It is indeed a people problem, and I'd be happy with people raising more compassionate children whatever media those kids end up using. One could talk endlessly about our failures to provide access to mental health services and support for early years parenting. I think the multi-generational harm that 'it never did me any harm' culture has wrought is immense, but I don't think these are facts of life that we should just concede.

But as it is, most schools have more opportunities to intercede and mediate these issues in physical spaces. As parents and communities we have very little experience, and almost certainly inadequate tools for doing that online. It's possible that this is leading to a greater number of bullies and a greater amount of bullying.

Watching TV, reading a book, etc teens don't get personally attacked, they do via social media. So, no mediums are different and the web has made things worse.

I don't think social media is a mirror of society. Social media's focused on attention and addiction, and is not designed or measured on presenting an accurate picture of what's normal. Not only the population on Twitter is not a normal distribution, the interactions and interaction style are not normal.

Social media has been around long enough that it's possible the crazy tech bosses you have seen may be an effect of the craziness of social media. But, then again it could just be crazy bosses.

I still agree with your first sentence. Plenty of room to improve. But I think the online world is the #1 component to focus on to make that happen.

That was true of newspapers too, since their very beginning. We've strayed very far from "normal" over the past couple thousand years. Writing is not normal, if by "normal" you mean what human mind is adapted to.

I say that as a reminder, because it's too easy to reattribute to social media what's really a set of more general problems that have been with us for some time now. Loss of fidelity in communication is not caused by social media, it's caused by writing. Distorted view of the world is not caused by social media, it's caused by mass media, and has been a problem since the first newspaper.

* people are

It's probably not just social media, but the internet(and tv) itself.

We know how human beings are supposed to live to be happy: small communities of stable relationships, with a lot of face to face time, ideally spending some of it outside doing some sort of physical activity.

And being focused is better , more enjoying than being distracted, and better for mind according to the meditative traditions .

Some people are introverts though, so for them this recipe is somewhat different , less social contact. But the social contact they have shouldn't be emotionally empty. And even their alone time is focused, like in book reading.

Alas, the internet is the excat opposite.

>We know how human beings are supposed to live to be happy: small communities of stable relationships, with a lot of face to face time, ideally spending some of it outside doing some sort of physical activity.

That's how we used to live, in small roving bands where all males are close relatives. Total lack of privacy. No dentists. Parasites. Obsession with the spirits that apparently lived in trees and rocks, also the evil spirits which brought disease and thunderstorms (cholera not having been identified). Endless wars with other tribes...


Now, obesity has replaced malnutrition. Distraction has replaced boredom. Social media has replaced gossip. These are better problems to have and they're solvable in turn. Then we'll see what the next problems are.

Yes, definitely agree.

I wonder if there are more introverts now than there were many years ago? It seems to me that has been a trend but I don't have any data to back it up.

Certainly less willingness to engage in conversation or, often, a failure to even acknowledge the presence of other human beings.

All I see is a new evolutionary pressure rising.

Only if this impacts reproductive fitness.

I would imagine that it's not implausible that being poorly socialized impacts reproductive success, particularly for men.


What does living in a trailer park have to do with being poorly socialized? Their social environment (and thus the standards of socialization) includes plenty of other people who live in trailer parks... So this is practically by definition false.

We're talking about things like hikikomori or "incels", not just some general sense of "lower class".

If your standard for “poorly socialized” is hikikomori and “incels” then you’re worrying about such a minute minority that it isn’t worth addressing. I would also call both of those groups much more than poorly socialized; they’re on a spectrum from disturbed, to profoundly mentally ill.

I still don't understand what leads you to believe residents of a trailer park are poorly socialized.

Sure, hikikomori are an extreme example, but extreme examples are useful when someone is having trouble understanding a concept. I thought you were perhaps able to extrapolate that I didn't literally mean _only_ people as extreme as those examples, but everything on the continuous spectrum from there to "well-socialized".

Men who have trouble getting laid are a ‘disturbed minute minority’ now? Have you ever been in a freshman CS class? Yeesh.

Incel is not “men who have trouble getting laid.” And you know it.

I'd rephrase as, differently socialized rather than poorly. In the end, all social custom is essentially convention based anyway, so it seems silly to apply value judgements.

We live in an increasingly connected world, and one in which people may struggle to find income only in their local region. If you’re only socialized in a way which allows you to interact with your neighbors, I would call that poorly socialized.

Sure, but I'm not applying value judgments. Being out of sync with the behaviors required to socialize (and reproduce, in this context) doesn't have anything to do with one's worth as a human IMO. It's like saying someone is in poor health instead of saying they're in "different health"; there's a fairly unambiguous metric to anchor to.

"Poorly" socialized is a value judgment. Not on worth as a human being, but a value judgment all the same. Some people are out of sync with the behaviors required to socialize/reproduce with YOU and the people YOU associate with. That doesn't make them poorly socialized. Except from a very limited perspective (yours).

No, it's not. Socialization is defined as getting along with those around you in some basic ways. If you don't do that so well, then you're poorly socialized. Everyone around you could be shitty people and you could be a saint (by whatever definitions you prefer), and you'd still be the poorly-socialized one, because absolute moral judgments are irrelevant for what we're talking about.

> Some people are out of sync with the behaviors required to socialize/reproduce with YOU and the people YOU associate with.

For the love of God, have you even read any of the thread you're commenting in? Literally one comment down from my original comment, I claim that it's inaccurate to call trailer park residents poorly socialized because they socialize fine with those in their environment. Because (for the third time now), socialization is defined relative to your surroundings. If you dropped me in the ancient Sumeria or medieval Japan or Cairo in 2291, I would likely be incredibly poorly socialized.

> Some people are out of sync with the behaviors required to socialize/reproduce with YOU and the people YOU associate with. That doesn't make them poorly socialized. Except from a very limited perspective (yours).

Don't project your own narrow-mindedness onto others when they haven't said anything remotely close to what you're ascribing to them.

Limited perspective, indeed.

I find the comments that rant against social media on hacker news amusing. Hacker news is a social media website.

"Hacker News is a social news website focusing on computer science and entrepreneurship." [0]

It's the same as a group on any other system, just different formatting. It even has karma which can suck you in...

I do not disagree with the sentiment though, managing the amount of time one gives to social media is tough. Picking good social circles and getting out of bad ones is tough.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_News

I think Hacker News (and traditional topical discussion forums in general) is to Facebook as playing boardgames with your friends is to a Casino.

It's more like playing poker at the casino instead of roulette

If Hacker News is just as much 'social media' as less literary platforms like Twitter or Facebook, then I don't think that social media is the problem per se. Y-combinator has its own profit motive, but it doesn't take its readers for fools to be manipulated. (Well, maybe this happens a little bit, with people voting up trendy stories.)

Yes, Hacker News has a 'share button'. I think what sets it apart from sites like Facebook is that it's not sufficient for the shared item to garner lots of attention; rather, it will be subject to written criticism, potentially leading to downvotes and flagging.

Finally, Hacker News is moderated by very thoughtful people, ruling out a big chunk of the content that makes unmoderated social media little better than a tabloid magazine.

That sounds rather like "we can use this media because we're talking about clever stuff but people talking about trivial stuff clearly shouldn't use it".

Yes, I agree reading back it sounds rather weak.

That said, maybe the differences comes down to: are we being drawn in through manipulation to post beyond what we otherwise would have wanted to, for the benefit of others? To an extent, this is what karma is.

Bingo, and I checked hacker news at least 10 times more than I would have just to see how many points I got for the above comment. I also spent way too much time carefully constructing the comment. 13 points, which is more than most of my recent comments.

Now, who's fault is it for being drawn in more than I want to be? I take responsibility for it and also agnolage my weaknesses for distraction. Maybe you could equate social media to a liquor store. Fulfilling a demand, serving the community, and also praying on and enabling it, in a bad way.

Most of the time I'm distracted by social media, I would be better served by sleeping.

Hopefully you'll survive the upvote I just gave you. :P

Differences in platforms aside, I find it amusing that people don't think we're aware that we're criticizing the medium on which we're communicating.

Social media in my opinion is a scourge on our society. It is a place that fosters narcissism and sociopathic natures. The little good it does bring is heavily outweighed by the bad.

Some will say it brings families and lost friends together across the world. This is true, but could be had without the endless streams of gloating, selfies, and photos of what you have eaten.

Recently I have had a child. And I have already decided that the only social interaction he will have will be real-time or near real time. This means face to face, live video, real time chat (sms Hangouts is okay). This shows real interest and attention to the other party in real time and allows true connections to be formed. No endless scrolling through people's lives you meet once.

I should also mention photo albums of actual events will be allowed too.

I know that this will be hard and I will likely fail. But I am going to do my best to help my son learn how to truly interact with people and feel fulfilled with the relationships he has. Never do I want him to feel the loneliness of endlessly peering into others life's from a small window on phone.

> feel the loneliness of endlessly peering into others life's from a small window on phone

At the point where everyone in his social circle is doing this, he will feel the loneliness of being the only one excluded from it. Perhaps he'll experience it peering in through someone else's phone.

>Perhaps he'll experience it peering in through someone else's phone.

And better yet, once the child is free of their parent's influence, they'll probably just get sucked in because they never developed the mental mechanisms to handle the tools properly (because their parent was too emotionally blinded and thus incapable of teaching risk management).

Just like that parent probably did when _they_ grew up and left home, for the same reasons. Cycles of emotional abuse are hard to break.

Emotional abuse?? That's quite a bit of a leap to make, from someone saying they won't let their kid on social media, don't you think?

The word "abuse" has been thrown around enough now to have lost almost all meaning. What OP described is called "being a parent".

I’m not sure how your point relates to the shared experience of individual alienation, but is the child you speak of really free from their parent’s influence if they’re living their life via the same broken mechanism?

This is like saying we should have our child experience gambling, alcohol, cigarettes, and other addictive activities to teach risk management because they're going to be exposed to it when they leave home, which is silly. Kids aren't born mature. Self-discipline and risk management are skills that need to be built up over time before we expose our kids to the most addictive aspects of life IMO.

Exactly! I think the OP talking about emotional abuse is confusing actual emotional abuse with the simple absence of a well-developed cognitive structure, and the problems that arise when parents lacking this structure try to raise kids of their own.

If a parent could give their kid an exact copy of their good/bad mapping for the world, the result wouldn't be a copy of a well-adjusted parent. The result would be a child who, at best, is able to function one step from their own reality without too much chaos. But I think it's more likely they would lose their footing somewhere around college and go off the rails, an increasingly necessary process it seems. Hopefully they have enough self-awareness left at that point to figure out how to exist in their world, finally in their own way.

That is actually a common argument with alcohol, that people who are exposed to it in moderation with supervision handle it better later on. Nobody argues that with cigarettes because it's rare to use them with any regularity and not get addicted.

Everyone in my social circle was doing this. Then I stopped doing it myself, and found that, all of a sudden, people were taking more time to get in touch with me directly. Not everyone, but enough people for me to be happy. Happier, even. I'm generally a quality-over-quantity person about everything else, so why not social connections, too?

>At the point where everyone in his social circle is doing this

Maybe 10 years from now using social networks isn't going to be ubiquitous anymore. Maybe people will wise up and see this isn't doing any good to anyone, except advertisers wanting to manipulate you into buying ever-increasing loads of crap. I can only hope.

I admire your optimism but, having witnessed the past ten years of evolution, I doubt it.

Why are you here?

"I have had a child. And I have already decided that the only social interaction he will have will be real-time or near real time. This means face to face, live video, real time chat (sms Hangouts is okay). This shows real interest and attention to the other party in real time and allows true connections to be formed."

Remember how physical letter-writing used to be hugely important?

We lost something there that wasn't real-time.

Emails are not real time either and they are not time sucking

Isn’t HN just another form of social media?

I’m sitting here commenting on someone else’s opinion on the internet, when I have far more productive things I could be doing.

Later on I’ll probably be narcissistic enough to check whether this comment got any upvotes.

I intentionally upvoted you so that you would get your dopamine hit.

Well having a discussion in comments can be productive if you’re learning new things. And there is a lot of good content here that many of us wouldn’t discover otherwise.

I imagine reading research or news posts on HN and commenting can be more productive than, say, reading reddit’s r/pics and commenting.

And yet probably 95%+ of the content will just be entertainment to us, not used productively.

Maybe for all of you fortunate to work in tech get professionally useful info here?

We can imagine lots of things but it doesn’t mean they’re true. You’re just moving the goalposts so that HN doesn’t fit into the “bad” category.

>And I have already decided that the only social interaction he will have will be real-time or near real time

Good luck with that. My dad only wanted me to listen to 8 tracks.

Seriously though, it’s hardline stances like this that create the very real chance of your kid resenting you. Do you really want your kid to be the weird one at school who can’t use social media? All the social interaction he’s going to get will be at home.

socnets are optimized interactions: you have more people that follow your interests but you may never get to know them in ways that physical proximity do to your mind.

also it's too easy to end up in cycles of small interaction hormone boosts (dopamine hits apparently) that makes it exciting but not in the right way.

Almost all social sites have a 13 years minimum age (from USA's COPPA, IIRC) it seems you've plenty of time to establish good social behaviour?

>"endless streams of gloating, selfies, and photos of what you have eaten." //

I use social media and don't get endless streams of anything, you choose that surely?

Sounds like complaining all food has poor nutrition.

Neither do I. At the top of my Twitter feed right now is Adafruit sharing a video about drones being used for agricultural research.

I find that people who don't like social media often seem to be unaware of the fact that you get to choose who you follow.

I wonder if there's a way to get all of the benefits without most of the downsides? What would that even look like?

and yet you're here with the rest of us

I assume if he has a child, he isn't one himself? The context of the discussion is the effect of social media on children. It's entirely plausible to me that one could think that children's development is susceptible to harms from social media that are less of a concern in adults. Or at least that adults are above the threshold where we'd consider them competent to cope with these things themselves.

I think Girard got it right.

Social media, as a whole, is a really big net negative to one's psyche, as we get to know what others have or desire, and become infected with their passions, fears and desires in this memetic process.

It makes us uniform, bland, predictable neural networks, cogs involved in unifying the capitalistic market, and losing values far more important than money.

Thankfully, there is still some resistance to that mental girardian unification, southern Europe seems to be harder to unify and bend to the global monoculture of anglo-capitalistic gollumization (I think Venkat at ribbonfarm.com wrote somethink about it)

And I also still think we have a chance to suceed in this gollumized society as a species, we'll just be less happier in our endless pursuit of darwinian fitness.

>It makes us uniform, bland, predictable neural networks, cogs involved in unifying the capitalistic market

This. We have become mindless uber-consumers, copying vs creating, regurgitating vs thinking. Reposting an animated gif meme is valued more than original thought.

As a consequence, we are easily infected (perfect word) with ideas. Worse, we believe these ideas to be the product of our own creation.

Beyond that, all we seem to be able to muster is endless streams of desparate duck-lipped photos, begging for validation.

This is what we've been reduced to and convinced is normal. It's a form of collective mental illness, encouraged by mind-hackers who profit from it.

I blame secularization. Human beings are genetically very good conduits for transfer of ideas. This is why in the past religions had such success in becoming popular and "infecting" people's brains.

But once modern society decided that religion is bad, they created a memetic vacuum, a population of brains with empty slots ready to attach to whatever big idea came next. And that happened to be social networks with their strong feedback loops and financial incentives to be as addictive as possible.

I wish there was a church option again that was a bit less loony. Something focused on community and shared values, less on the mystical. Honestly I think Unitarians come close but I don't know why their numbers are record low; maybe there needs to be more of a social network backlash to get some new members through the door.

Thank you for your comment. I grew up in a liberal Democratic household and still consider myself as such, but I’ve found a lot of happiness by going back to (Catholic) church, the religion of my mother, which she hated.

I barely even wanted to type this comment because I don’t feel like it’s that accepted of an idea on HN, but I really appreciated you posting.

Secularization is a phenomenon that predates the appearance of online social networks for several decades to a couple centuries, depending on your point of view. I don't see the connection. At any rate I don't see how you can link secularization and the stagnation of the transfer of ideas; very much to the contrary, being free from oppressive dogma led to radical advances in thought and upheavals in social order. Can you expound on the reasons you think that way?

>ready to attach to whatever big idea came next

Well, that's just it: the vaccum is being filled with tiny ideas. We don't seem to go much deeper than what can be communicated in an animated gif.

The vast majority of people are part of a religion. What are you talking about? Religion has less ability to control people in some parts of the world, and people in some parts of the world are becoming less religious. Most of the world is still quite religiou though, often to their detriment.

India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, huge swaths of the US, South and Central America, and so on are all very religious. So again, what are you really talking about?

I'm talking about modern western society. Sorry I don't have scientific references, and this is all anecdata/personal observation but I don't know a single person in my large US city that is religious or attends church, and yet I know many that spend a lot of time on social networks and yet are lonely. Mostly combination of family/friends/work.




Atheists and agnostics account for a minority of all religiously unaffiliated. Most are secular. Atheists and agnostics account for only about one-quarter (27%) of all religiously unaffiliated Americans. Nearly six in ten (58%) religiously unaffiliated Americans identify as secular, someone who is not religious; 16% of religiously unaffiliated Americans nonetheless report that they identify as a “religious person.”

Note that religiously unaffiliated represent ~21% only.

Less dominant and slowly declining, but far from what you previously described as But once modern society decided that religion is bad.

That doesn't necessarily mean that people who identify as religious also attend a church. My family would consider themselves Catholic, yet they don't attend church. In my opinion people have replaced the hole that religiosity used to fill with pop-culture. The amount of time dedicated to reading into the meaning of films/television shows, or worshiping actors/actresses (see tabloids) is reminiscent of the seriousness that religiously dedicated individuals take to scripture.

A reorientation of priorities among people who self-identify as religious is about as far from the thesis of society deciding that “religion is bad” as can be. Mostly though, you should recognize that “pop culture” has been blamed for turning people away from religion for longer than people have spoken English.

Yes, I was going to say Unitarian. There are also various ethical societies and Sunday assemblies.

Hacker News comments are no less preening, let's be honest.

Here’s my philosophy: happiness comes from creation. We are hackers, we know this. But “creating memories” and “creating experiences” counts too!

Browsing Social media is not an act of creation, but one of consumption.

I think the article mixes up and confuses two different concepts.

One is that social media might amplify "normal" social conditions, such as bullying, to an unprecedented degree.

The other one is the misuse/abuse of social media as socialization substitutes by children, leading to isolation.

Social media can bring a lot of benefit to everyone, even children, if they are used to augment and improve our real-life, face-to-face interactions. But they cannot and should not substitute them.

Some argue it's just about how you use them. That's not true. Companies like facebook use psychometrics, sociologist and psychologists to optimize their software for something, and that something probably never is your well-being. We can use regulation to enforce this. You can be the most active and social person there is, but a properly designed piece of software that filters and controls all your social interaction can destroy your social life and mental health. Especially if you're 9 years old and most of your life experiences come from a screen.

Social media is yet another aspect of the atomization of the individual.

We are engaged in a great un-meaningfying of human interaction driven by a philosophication of empirically established human propensities. We are what we do, and the value of what we do is eatablished by market forces.

You are your friends and likes. You are your upvotes and replies. You are your retweets and followers. These are truths when you are too young to establish your own moral footing. And we pulled the rug out from under them; religion is out, atheism is uncool (they can tell), spiritual self discovery is illegal(usually involves drugs) and The Internet, well, thats where they get depressed, innit?

We are ill equipped for the marketisation of identity.

One of the best things about the internet is the potential for searchable comments like these 20+ years from now. I look forward to seeing how the same things get repeated over and over and over at the onset of each new technology.

Hahaha, I remember claiming that expensive phones with crappy cameras was a stupid fad that would blow over. If you dont't make a bold claims you don't get the benefits of hindsight i guess!

I would like to add that I was trying to make a point about morality and nihilism in our culture with developing technology as the backdrop, not the cause as such.

Maybe lack of actual community existing causes childhood depression? The way so much of our society is set up to allow for individualism and solitude it doesn’t surprise me that the kids are not alright.

I'd be depressed too if my news feed was filled with the social dynamics of pubescent-aged children. It's much easier to understand what's truly going on in the social world when one is physically present in that world, and it's also much easier to remove onself from a toxic group of people. Every school-aged relative I have has a Facebook with nearly every kid from school added as a friend. But every friend's feed is presented by default as if you are directly involved with their shit. It's hard to remove oneself from that, especially because having more Facebook friends to a kid is very socially laudable.

Childhood and adult.

I went to three different high schools in as many states before the time of the internet and cell phones. Each time I became disconnected from my hard earned friendships was depressing. I wish I had better communication at the time.

This doesn't surprise me at all. Unfortunately, social media is not social at all. It's not just the medium everyone uses to talk about and prize themselves, but also the medium that people use to silently ostracize others, who in turn use the completely fake and narcissistic posts of whoever they deem popular, or "cool," as a metric of how good their own lives are and, ultimately, fall into depression whilst failing to understand the fakeness of what they see.

HN readers might not be aware of "Skoville", a social media site for children under 13.


It has some superficial "educational" Flash games (about being safe online, or about getting a job and paying your bills.

But it also has some of the negative features of social media.


every 'media' producing interrupts may be considered harmful for one's mind, as it blows the thought process into smithereens. psychologists, psychiatrists and spiritual teachers from all around the globe are crying warnings in our face since before the dawn of Internet, but only few listen...

the concept of conscious living/being and (as one other commentator noted) the essence of meditative practices is completely incompatible with social or any other media based on push updates and preprogrammed streams (tv/social/etc). add to this the tricks for retention and the fact that we develop reflexes to ask the network, and not our own memory, and you get a totally unconscious living, one that slowly diminishes concentration and intelligence irrelevant.

the WHO needs to immediately come forward and warn Earth's population of the forthcoming collapse of free will/thought, as this is already happening and we can only guess where it gets to. it's concerning that there are many signs we're about to witness social-media-related-insanity 'en masse' in the very near future.

This reminds me of growing up as an active member of the original BBS scene in the 90's.

Parents/Adults are clueless as usual. Let the kids have their fun!

Ive been saying this since 2007 when all my friends complained that I dont have a facebook account ;)

Social media is indistinguishable from smoking, except we are all smoking the same damn pipe.

(tobacco smoking, to be precise)

Nice article. Being pedantic, Id just like to point out that all photos are digitally manipulated tho.

Then what caused my childhood depression?

Does AIM count as social media? ;)

Remember when rock music was going to lead us down the path of evil? And then violent video games were creating an entire generation of lawless degenerates? Now social media is causing depression. I can only imagine the societal ills that AR/VR will wreak on us all!

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