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.
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 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.
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.
It's not as accurate for Twitter, and is totally off mark (fortunately) for things like Mastodon or Dreamwidth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We're talking about things like hikikomori or "incels", not just some general sense of "lower class".
> 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.
"Hacker News is a social news website focusing on computer science and entrepreneurship."
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remember how physical letter-writing used to be hugely important?
We lost something there that wasn't real-time.
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 imagine reading research or news posts on HN and commenting can be more productive than, say, reading reddit’s r/pics and commenting.
Maybe for all of you fortunate to work in tech get professionally useful info here?
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.
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.
>"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Browsing Social media is not an act of creation, but one of consumption.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parents/Adults are clueless as usual. Let the kids have their fun!
(tobacco smoking, to be precise)
Does AIM count as social media? ;)