I think a lot of the problems with social media today could be solved just by removing “the numbers.” If suddenly all the like, follower, following, and comment counts disappeared I suspect people would use these things fundamentally differently. I see people browsing through IG tapping to like for 20 minutes at a time and think to myself, “why are you even doing that?” It’s a compulsion that does nothing.
Taking the time to save a link/picture, go to another site, and typing in a description and comments on material? Great. Seeing a cat picture and instantaneously clicking "share"?
Screw that. That kind of behavior is in the website's interest, not mine. It creates an endless stream of slightly-interesting material from people I know, just enough to keep me watching but not enough to feel like anything got done.
Spending time doing something compulsively that later you realize was a waste of time, then doing it again? That's addiction. I don't know what kind of addiction it is. It's certainly less addictive than opiods. But it's no doubt addictive -- and it is currently affecting billions of people worldwide.
It's an amazing amount of societal damage that nobody will ever be able to quantify. We'll never know the books that weren't read, the inventions that weren't made, or the people that weren't helped because somebody was watching social media.
(And before somebody talks about how great it is to have the planet connected, it is! Being able to communicate and research is nowhere near the same thing as having your head stuck in your phone eight hours a day)
Individuals have a right to recreation; they don't need to spend every waking moment being useful to society. The alternative is dystopian.
Is social media better that TV? I would say social media has more value and is more likely to cause damage, but avoiding both is probably a good idea. I try not to eat much ice cream either.
Every minor thing is "breaking news!" and needless drama stirred up to keep you watching, in between the half a dozen tickers and counters on the screen with pointless metrics to look important and soak up your attention.
This. If nothing else scared me away from social networks the mind-numbing scroll-like-scroll-like behavior I see the users/addicts exhibit sure does.
Take Instagram. It used to be a platform for posting pictures. It was a digital version of Polaroid—an “instant” camera. When you look on Instagram now it’s core functionality and differentiation is basically gone. When you look on the explore tab you are hard pressed to find any photos at all, let alone ones that were taken with the camera itself.
Instagram now is no different than Facebook or any other generic network, it’s just the biggest. The content is nonsensical and people will eventually get bored of it. At some point I think it occurs to every user, “why am I even doing this” and they bounce, so it always requires new users coming in to grow the userbase.
IG is now easy, from a technical standpoint, to replace as it has no real identity. Just let people post whatever for internet points. Socially it’s hard to topple, but that’s hard to defend long term and somewhat out of your control.
I just don’t see how or why IG exists ten years from now. For what? At least in its original incarnation it had a purpose, however niche, which might have had some long term viability.
I think the best example of this is probably looking at the Chinese social apps like YY, Inke and Meipai. A billion people who don’t give a shit about Kylie Jenner and are developing apps with far more interesting features than anything we have.
Granted, there are accounts that are dedicated to memes and other ‘nonsensical’ content, but you get much more of that on FB. Putting IG in the same trash pile that FB is in is unfair.
It’s nuanced, but fundamental different from the photo sharing sites that came before it like Flickr.
The share button may as well be replaced with “Promote” because that’s what it is.
Whether or not that communication between individuals is high-quality will vary from person to person, though.
> ... completely different than they way they are used today.
Are you conflating the way that you would interact with a social media site, and the way that most people would -- rather than comparing both sets of people over time?
TFA's focus is on the addictive aspect of FB (etc) -- and clearly FB (etc) are constantly improving their psychological toolkit in order to obtain and retain eyeballs -- but I don't think the quantifying of likes is the main tool in their kit. Worse, they're not likely to voluntarily reduce the efficacy of their methods.
I administer a large-ish group where respectful discussion is non-negotiable. It works, it serves it's purpose.
I think "good moderation" is basically the answer for toxicity.
> ways I used Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the early
> days and they were completely different than they way they
> are used today. They were personal, real time, and no one
> cared about “likes”.
Yup, also when considering how this all evolved. Before that there were Newsgroups (mega techy) and various online forums/chats. They were a little trashy but people were very engaged. On the other hand pseudonymity was omnipresent, Facebook was the first big one to change that. Now there are far more users and far less online communities.
Basing self worth on social acceptance definitely predates Facebook, and Facebook addiction is a pretty obvious consequence of the positive feedback loop that you'd get form using Facebook to feed that part of yourself.
Not defending Facebook or any other social network here, I personally think Facebook is likely toxic -- but I think it's pretty hard for a social network to exist without having this flaw.
The product has been meticulously engineered to push all your social acceptance buttons. It would have been possible to design a product that helped people gain awareness of and transcend the deep underlying insecurities that give rise to addictions of all kinds, including social media. They deliberately chose not to build that product because it would be less lucrative, at least in the short term.
Giving Facebook a pass on this is like giving a heroin dealer a pass because opioid addiction predated their business. It’s true but it doesn’t absolve any of the moral responsibility for profiting off a product that causes harm.
What the world really needs is the naloxone of social networks.
If wondering if we could create a social network that offers 50x the social validation (fentanyl is like 50x the potency of heroin). Maybe machine learning can find the right combination of color flashes to cause people to have a social bliss seizure. Maybe while simultaneously reading their rapid eye movements to extract their credit card information from their short circuiting brains.
Catch me at YC2019
Otherwise fully functional adults often succumb to sexual advances of sweet-taking suitors even if they rationally know the sweet-talk is bunk. And so it will be with this - humanity will fall to an AI before the AI can even develop consciousness.
A member of my immediate family died by suicide recently. She suffered from massive self esteem issues as a result of chronic childhood abuse. She turned to Facebook for social validation, as one does, but was more prone to serious addiction due to her trauma. I’m not saying Facebook killed her, but it certainly added rocket fuel to the fire of her downward spiral.
I encourage you to reconsider your glib attitude towards dangerous addictions. It’s not so funny when people you love die from this stuff.
In some ways I followed a similar path to that of your relative, in part because I often obtain validation by publicly satirizing elements of society I think are wrong. I've found satire the best tool in my toolbox at sparking conversation and even changing minds.
I've considered your proposal, and respectfully choose to continue the path I'm on. Whether or not you agree with it, I hope you'll believe that my motive is to cast a negative light on the victimizers and not the victims.
Best regards to you and yours
Regarding your claimed motive to cast a negative light on the victimizers, uhhh... yeah. That might be believable, except that you’re doing the exact opposite in this thread. I hate to break it to you, but leaving insensitive comments about addiction which you later claim are satire isn’t really helping the situation.
You are also pretending to be respectful with your choice of language, but you’re not actually showing any respect at all.
At this point the only logical conclusion is that you’re trolling. In my experience, behind every troll is someone who is suffering and needs psychological help. Whether or not you believe it, I know there’s a “true self” of yours underneath the facade you’re showing here on HN that actually knows how to help people and not hurt them.
Whatever happened to you to make you this way, I wish you all the best in working through it.
A lifetime of things, good and bad made me this way. I don't agree that I have any particular pathos I need to nail down, but being better is always the goal, right?
This whole thing just turned into a whirlwind of Poe's law.
It's about you pushing buttons by making insensitive and disrespectful comments, then continuing to feign ignorance, avoiding responsibility for your hurtful words and finally trying to shift blame for the situation onto me.
The technical term for what you're doing is emotional abuse and gaslighting. This behavior is typically observed in those who have had it done to them. If you were paying me to be your therapist, I could help you fix the bugs in your psyche. But I'm not your therapist, and you seem to recognize nothing odd about your behavior, so there's no point in continuing the conversation at this time. Be well.
I downshifted from jokes to (an attempt at!) sensitivity not to manipulate or gaslight you. Perhaps I was trying to manipulate you into feeling less upset.
I thought I pushed your buttons with my original insensitive and disrespectful comments because of the death of your family member. If that's not the case, I don't know. I've nearly forgotten what the point of all this is.
Perhaps what you consider feigning ignorance, gaslighting, and manipulation stems from me not meeting your hostility with hostility, I understand that the mere suggestion of that is probably like 4th or 5th dimensional gaslighting.
I'm happy to acknowledge some of the things I say are offensive to some people, I'll continue trying to talk to people I offend with respect, until cynicism gets the best of me and the glib persona takes over completely ;)
I'm not willing to censor myself because you want me to though, I think I spelled that out clearly enough without feigning anything.
It's feels icky to get autobiographical, but the major reason of why I leaned into the conversation at the expense of my pretty funny joke is because of May 22, 1998. It was the day my brother succumbed to a gunshot wound to the head inflicted by his roommate.
For a while after that, whenever a kid would allude to shooting someone in the head while talking about videogames or playing, it felt like a punch to my gut. I remember lashing out at people once or twice over it. It never brought any satisfaction, or helped with my grief. Trying to dominate the forms of communication between 5th graders to shield my heart was a silly, tyrannical proposition. If it had even worked, it would have taught me all the wrong things.
Fortunately the mere idea of not talking about headshots was well beyond the capabilities of an entire school playing goldeneye. Haha
It's good to let someone stir your tanks every once in a while. Last night I got to try striking a balance between kindness and conviction, normally it's just sarcasm and conviction.
To believe otherwise is to fall into the trap the economist does in the following folksy anecdote.
An economist and his friend were walking down the street when the friend spots a 100$ bill on the ground. "Hey look, a 100$ bill!" he exclaims. The economist keeps his eyes locked forward, saying "Can't be, if there were - someone would have already picked it up."
Believe in yourself and your dreams, Cyph0n.
Upon further reflection, for me, I don't think the verb "linked to" implies any particular direction of causality. I would find it reasonable to word a headline as either "diabetes linked to twizzlers" or "twizzlers linked to diabetes", even though the causality clearly can only go in one direction.
A better question to ask would be whether Facebook increases self-confidence and leads to more self-validating social interaction outside of the Internet. Given what I see and hear, I don't believe this is the case.
Horse linked to carriage.
Carriage linked to horse.
Use of the word "link" at all is a often big clue which says "we're careful not to assert a causal mechanism".
I find no bias in this language. To me, this reads as suggesting mere correlation.
But, we have no social vitamins.
People are affected and influenced because they accept it as a rule of functioning. They want to influence things in such and such a way therefore they are subject to the same tactics of manipulation. Always depends on the rules you choose to believe in about the mind. Nerves that fire together wire together, and so on.
As a wise professor sitting in the audience said to the lecturer: "Normally we put the dependent variable on the Y axis".
Behaving in that pattern in a conditioned sense opens oneself up for all sorts of manipulation, which long term, that's quite a bit of suffering (if there's no genuine connection between members of a social group, hence, the group is prone to rapid shifts in likes/dislikes'. It becomes hard to determine intent - which makes the social environment untrustworthy, which in my opinion, is the basis of what is required for sanity. Trust. You can have that as something established over a long time, or you can have instant connection, just really 'get' someone and where they are coming from.
Facebook is an addiction. There's plenty of places on the internet that encourage healthy dialogue and it's obvious / quite plain to see what is effective and what is ultimately destructive.
I like HN a lot. So many other places on the internet, it seems like a popularity contest. Here I can get 0 or 1 upvotes but not feel ignored, not feel worse off for it.
Healing, in many regards.
At the end of the day, a lot of us here are developers, engineers, programmers, still. A knack for pedantry, precision, and clarity leads to coming to, and accepting an awareness. Otherwise, bugs, bugs, bugs. Bugs everywhere. Clear thinking. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and so on.
HN used to have a general rule in the community that you don't downvote without explaining why. It was a much nicer place back then.
That's just tech in general. Or business. Anything that deals in hard facts. Hand waving bullshit without evidence or at least, validity in reasoning - that's just bad long term.
Of course the real truth though is no one can know everything. To me, that implies there's a limit where people say 'this is the line we stop thinking at, when we hit this line'. I'm curious to know whether the belief that the line exists there to begin with is there because it retains some tolerable amount of bullshit, or because some people just really aren't used to actually being aware of their own occasional idiocy.
I dunno. I don't think it's a positive long term to make people feel dumb. Probably something that gets retained because it just works, an evolutionary heuristic, not necessarily one planned for, designed, selected.
Which.. (the universe truly does have a divine sense of humor) - intelligence can literally be stupidity. Therefore, it doesn't mean whatever intelligence designates most intelligent is actually the most effective way of getting to the truth, or defining the best way to do things. Just means, it's the way things get done, until a better way is revealed or found.
If someone suffers when they see other people doing well, because their self-worth is based on comparing themselves to others, that's a character flaw. It's going to keep making their lives miserable until they learn to address it, without or without Facebook around. People blaming Facebook seems like a classic case of addressing the symptoms not the disease; some people are so unwilling to make any effort to grow and better themselves that they'll do whatever they can to find an external source of blame for the effects of their unhealthy thinking patterns. It's so much easier to think "Facebook is evil" than to think "It's not healthy for me to judge myself in comparisons to others, I should work to learn to be happy at their success".
It's a distraction. And a lot of people are addicted by it, so much they feel they need to "share" what they are doing or what they are thinking at least once a day. This focus on the Self and the ubiquity of social networks makes for a phenomenon that did not exist before.
As for whether it is positive or negative, well it's a net loss of time (and mental attention since social networks tend to disrupt you the whole time with notifications) that could be spent somewhere else, and it's difficult to argue with that. Are there emotional benefits? Sure. Are such benefits more rewarding than the ones you would get from real-life networking and real-life activities? That should be the proper benchmark to use to make a judgment.
For people who have lived before social networks existed, such evaluation could take the form of a simple question "has Facebook made your life any better?".
I still type reddit.com into my browser just from muscle memory now 6-ish months after quitting.
First I felt empty, like I needed to log in, " just to see". Now, I know it was an excellent decision, I feel better and more content.
Incidentally I always scroll further down to look for comments that acknowledge the problem at the profound level.
Completely agree, and I’m not too far removed from the social media madness of today. My 7th-8th grade (12-14 y/o) years where during MySpace’s hay day. And, at least amongst my peers, a lot of our world revolved around it. I remember people bragging about how many “friends” they had, there were actual fights about so-and-so being in (or not) someone’s top 8, and all sorts of petty drama in bulletin’s and comments. But, it was still just kind of a fun thing, while there were arguments such people got over them and quickly forgot, nobody took it that seriously. There was still a pretty solid divide between your MySpace life and real life. Nobody was always online, you would just get on MySpace when you were bored and wanted to talk to people/post passive aggressive/super teenage angsty bulletins about your crush that doesn’t like you.
Then when I got to High School, that’s when Facebook became popular. I actually was a hold out, as I didn’t like Facebook as it didn’t feel the same, it felt more connected to real life (if that makes sense). But I eventually succumbed as nobody was getting on MySpace anymore.
Fortunately I graduated before Snapchat existed, and Instagram was just becoming popular. And I can’t even imagine what stupid bullshit all these new always online, highly intimate, and tightly connected to your real life/identity social media’s bring about. My little brother just graduated high school, and from what I could see, a lot of his and his friends interactions were through social media, with some friends trying desperately to become internet famous, and a lot of subtweeting.
I’m just glad this crap wasn’t around when I was a teen, because unlike MySpace, the things they’re posting/doing online aren’t likely to go away anytime soon (and I don’t think a lot of them realize that).
Nowadays, the only social media I actively check is instagram. I still have my Facebook, but it gets checked maybe once a week, Snapchat is installed, but I haven’t sent anything in months, really only there for when someone sends me something so they don’t ask me why I didn’t open it. But, I even feel a small pressure to engage with social media, and the dopamine hits from getting likes is still nice. I can’t imagine what teens, most of which depend greatly on peer acceptance to determine their self-worth, deal with. Though, I’m interested in seeing how these always online, social media teens, grow up, and how social media will evolve because of it.
What personally amazes me is how many people treat their social profiles with the same rigor and attention as a large PR conglomerate. Everything photo took dozens of takes, every post rewritten to maximize the number of keywords. Personal Branding has taken the 'social' out of social media a la Black Mirror (nosedive).
Black Mirror is amazing ofc. But specifically this episode, Nosedive, should be studied and analysed in public schools.
Given this, wouldn't it be abnormal to eschew social networks and the daily, hourly, validation they provide? of course people used to seek social acceptance in person, but physical social intercourse has been shrinking, so the online world is now where we can most easily obtain it. And soon, virtual worlds will provide in even greater abundance.
You mention that notion that reality is a social construct. This makes me think of Jean Baudrillard and his assertion that the Gulf War I did not occur, it was simply a television show that we all watched.
Baudrillard would obviously assert that Facebook is part of the Simulacra. (I don't think anyone can doubt that, so I'm not qualifying the sentence.) If one is trying to get back to something real, the path does not lead through Facebook. If one is trying to find real connections with other human beings, the path does not lead through Facebook.
In my experience, photos get about 10x the likes of text-based posts. We can argue the exact amount, but we all must notice that pictures get far most attention then everything else, correct?
Given this, isn't that quite obviously the wrong type of validation people should be seeking?
The superficiality of how one looks should certainly not be weighted 10x over all other aspects of one's personality, and brings to mind the worst aspects of high-school-based in/out-group mechanics.
At it's best, it's simply welfare for the rich. People who look good already get the lion's share of "likes" and attention in the real world.
It hardly seems like a good thing it should be so online as well.
Needing people to like you has little to do with acting for the common good. It’s literally about what you can get rather than what you can give. The first think to do if you want to truly focus on others’ well-being is to stop caring what anyone has to say about who you are and what you do. Living authentically is going to make some people confused or uncomfortable. A lot of people are super judgmental and are looking for validation of their own tastes and choices.
People get emotional online for all kinds of reasons. PRO TIP: there are many people online that cannot follow a conversation, possibly their own conversation, or who have trouble with basic reading comprehension. ANOTHER PRO TIP: echo chambers and conformity are very real qualities that easily feel threatened for nonthreatening reasons.
Pretending you know what emotions someone's expressing from plaintext is basically the opposite problem of what you're talking about and is equally flawed.
I wasn't there though, so if they were leveling personal attacks because of your dissenting opinion, you were likely correct about the emotional part.
Yes, but that's literally because people see their technologies as being more human than most humans. It's something that goes down to an individuals core and is intrinsically defining of how they understand and express.
Not saying it makes sense to average Joe. Just a different breed of person.
For example, the soundness property of a language. Think about why that might be what creates the echo chamber, rather than thinking about how the echo chamber reacts when whatever contributes to verifying soundness is modified. The reaction might be a side effect, rather than an outright planned action.
It is the opposite of wanting to learn, explore, or be challenged. It is all about harmony and using people as numbers to wrap yourself in a warm comfort blanket of emotional protection and qualification. It is the very idea that an opinion is truth when it can be made popular or false if it can be demonized by a congregation, particularly when every conversation is a contest with emotional validation as the prize.
When emotional harmony becomes more important than the subject matter of discussion I am done.
If I agree with you right here and now, have we not technically formed our own 'echo chamber'?
Echo chambers from the outside look like inside out fishbowls because they are. But every set of agreeable statements, whether shared between individuals or distributed through time, same system - pieces are just labeled differently.
However, I do understand the emotional feeling that occurs when conforming is heavily pressured, from nearly every side. That's disharmonous emotionally to the people it is disharmonous to. The ones who get silenced.
I understand both sides. Can't say I know more than that. Can't say I have an opinion on the matter because it goes beyond the facts.
Another way to look at the problem: are math and logic an echo chamber?
Good point, but no.
Agreement is not necessarily an indication of conformance. You have to also consider to what degree that agreement, or disagreement, must be exercised. I agree and disagree with many political opinions, but I don't join groups who share my political opinions. My personal opinions often remain personal. Even if I did join a group of politically like-minded persons I would not go on regular protests to merely advertise my opinion. I certainly wouldn't take it to a higher level by going to a counter-protest or berating those I disagree with.
Typically the more important and advertised a social agreement becomes the less it is about the subject matter agreed upon and the more it is about exercising forced social norms of a group. In math and logic agreement is attained by a proof and not by some social pressure to force a predetermined outcome.
Of course I agree with this. Just makes me think of bad ways of understanding math and logic. Having to carry it around inside myself as though I am it, because nothing else besides myself, others like myself, and actual computers can test the understanding. Proofs can be written with the utmost rigor. There's still room for error. No proof is perfect.
I'm not sure if that's more so, an artistic interpretation of mathematics and logic, or, just the other side to it. Even if my memory was eidetic and I knew all there was to know about all existing mathematics and logic, I'm still not sure I'd be certain I know what I know. What's the difference between seeing a connection between two pieces of data, and identifying an inferential rule? Direction, intentional direction. Backwards chaining.
> and not by some social pressure to force a predetermined outcome
This is what I always find, I dunno, bizarre. It really seems like, overriding thinking in favor of something, some way of forcing an outcome.
I think that is an overly simplistic view. Perhaps the way to think about this is not an isolated fragment in the form of an abstraction but rather a product you can hold your in hands. You can test your understanding of that product in various ways and use it perform various tasks beyond which it was designed to achieve. These processes require problem solving and creativity which are forms of originality. Originality is a very lonely place, but its great when it solves a problem and reveals a reward. What is the greater virtue: solving for loneliness or solving for the problem?
This is better explained in the introduction to Nicomachean Ethics. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%...
Essentially a tool is of use for its own sake, an intermediate use, or existing solely for the use of something else. That which is of use for its own sake has the highest utility value while that which is only existent to benefit something else has the lowest utility value.
It seems, though, your thoughts are more concerning potential unity around theoretical concepts. For that I recommend reading upon Intellectual Virtue as an achievable ethic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicomachean_Ethics#Book_VI:_In...
Thinking about things that aren't presented with a face... one face or many.
Unity with concepts. Read Nichomachean ethics in college, but funnily enough now that I look at it, the professors may have found much more literal value in it than did the students.
Humor, the Greeks, educational systems. Life, sigh.
The directions things go in.
Incidentally, I think part of the communication problem is that commenter #2 read commenter #1's comment, plus a bunch of other people's comments that color the interpretation of commenter #1's statement. It only gets worse as your comment ages and whole discussions evolve around it.
I felt that I've became obsessed with "likes" recently on Reddit. Well, they call it karma. But, same thing.
Karma points are kinda hard to get. Mainly because there are 3 things that has to happen -
1. Write your comment early enough
2. Write something witty enough
3. The thread needs to become somewhat popular
Sports threads, mainly Game threads, are a gold mine for karma. I found, recently that I wrote things there partly because I loved the team and atmosphere (Braves fan), but also because I love refreshing and seeing all 'dem karma points.
I've became so obsessed that I realized I had a problem. Each time I go onto Reddit (the new version), my eyes immediately darts to the top right of the screen to see if I went up or down. It became distracting that I looked for ways to turn it off.
Reddit's user settings, from what I saw, doesn't have anything that will hide those points. Luckily, I could revert back to the old Reddit layout.
Funny thing is, I'm barely on the Game threads now that I cannot see those points.
- See karma has gone up
- Micro fistpump
- See which comment got upvoted
- Revel in own wit
- Go back to work
I'm working on a site as well that has up votes. Mostly to eliminate spam.
I'm going to have the points hidden by default.
The bigger picture is it doesn't matter that much because that's the purpose of the business and it is sure succeeding. But we all have our own choice, we can use it either to advantage or disadvantage. Still, somehow it is fortunate for us present generation that we are now living in a complex system that makes things simple, it will keep on progressing and we must keep up so we can enjoy the minimum substantial benefits. I think we just need to understand the rules and we'll be OK.
Besides, what if it's not addiction, but something worse!
In other words, people who agreed with statements such as “My self-esteem depends on the opinions others hold of me” tended to also agree with statements such as “I spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook”, “I am using Facebook in order to forget my personal problems”, and “I use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on my job or studies.”
So they were self-reporting is their feelings toward facebook and their feelings about their self-esteem, they weren't self-reporting the connection. They may not be aware of the connection between the two.
The general early childhood emphasis on "pro-social," behaviors and performative identity is almost certainly creating generations of incompetent narcissists, but the way to test that hypothesis is probably not by offering them validation in exchange for their opinion, unless you are measuring them against an isolated control group.
What Facebook might have changed is whom our peers who we derive social acceptance are. That peer group seems to have changed from people close both as proximity and emotionally to people further away from us, who might not care as much about out emotional well being and feelings.
Look at chimps for instance. They also form these very small groups that can number in the tens of chimps. But their little groups are based almost entirely on acceptance and domination, and it prevents them from developing further. They instead just go to war and kill other chimp groups that reach these comparable sizes. And it never ends. They cannot seem to get over 'in group good, out group die'.
By contrast, it seems extremely likely that we all started extremely similarly but at some point realized that instead of each of our little in groups killing each other, if we worked together we would become even stronger and able to kill even more groups to our mutual benefit. Add in some basic rules we agree to abide by, and you have what would be the seed of what would become 'society.'
So as paradoxical as it sounds, I would argue that directly seeking approval as a means of self affirmation could even be a regression away from what creates society. Because working with the 'enemy' is hardly socially acceptable, yet that is precisely what's required for societies to continue to function. You'll never be accepted by everybody so it drives people into ever smaller insular chambers, which then go to metaphorical war with all the other groups, that may over time become less metaphorical. Come to think of it, this does not really seem all that far off from the state of contemporary society.
So I would hypothesize something relatively similar sounding, but fundamentally different. In that social media is perhaps driving some to form these 'chimp style' groups, yet the nature of the internet and worldwide communication has turned these warring insular groups drive largely by acceptance, from the tens of people into the millions of people.
They’re also fictional. Privacy, i.e. the ability to hold thoughts and preferences to oneself, is intrinsically linked to agency. If everyone is looking for acceptance, we lose our places for madmen and geniuses.
There is a well known coping mechanism - "Don't do it". Works pretty well for anything addictive. Requires rational thinking and self-discipline, though.
Star Trek has enough WTFs with biology (see e.g. "Genesis", where some virus that alters people's DNA causes extreme body modification including bone growth over a period of a few days, and changing their DNA back to normal also undoes all the body modification; everyone who's lost a limb wishes DNA worked that way) and physics (to give just one example: in "The Next Phase", Geordi is "phased out" and can walk through walls but doesn't fall through the floor;  claims the writers had an explanation that was cut from the episode, but the comments poke further holes in it), not to mention other plot holes (e.g. in DS9, in "Tears of the Prophets" the Dominion has created a bunch of cheap and powerful orbital weapon platforms that should turn the tide of the war with the Federation; the main characters manage to plant a Federation warp signature on their power source and cause the automated weapon platforms to destroy it, after which the Federation destroys the platforms and retakes that one system; patching this vulnerability should be trivial and there is no reason the Dominion shouldn't start setting up orbital weapon platforms in all their other systems, but they don't, as if some dumb villain said "You have failed me!" and killed the underling and scrapped the project (and as if the Federation knows this happened, because we never see anyone say "Gosh, what'll we do if the Dominion makes more weapon platforms programmed to never shoot their power source no matter its warp signature?"), but we don't see that scene; but then for some reason you see a few more platforms in one system a year later when it's too late to matter), that I put "the writers didn't seriously think it through" near the top of my list of explanations whenever something doesn't make sense to me. So I wouldn't take the depiction of Betazoids to be evidence that Betazoids could work as depicted.
To play devil's advocate with the Betazoids: telepathy might make tyranny much more workable, if you can use it to detect any signs of betrayal, and beat people into submission until you can tell that they are fully cowed. You might, then, expect a stagnant society dominated by a despot and his loyal henchmen. On the other hand, maybe they could take the strategy of feeling completely cowed, but then, when they happen to see the tyrant in a vulnerable position, suddenly feeling strong and vengeful; the propensity to react in that way isn't an emotion, so the tyrant might not be able to detect it. (I think some humans have that kind of reaction for similar reasons.) Who knows. (Or maybe they gave themselves telepathy via genetic engineering after they'd developed spacefaring and had a stable, non-tyrannical society.) We don't actually have proof yet that humans will reach the point of colonizing other planets, though it does seem plausible.
Finally my response was "who gives a shit, it's Facebook, it doesn't fucking matter. Just unfriend her instead of bitching about it."
That didn't resonate very well and the person had a very sullen attitude. but I stand by my statement. Facebook isn't that important.
A nicer way to say it: "It's just facebook so i wouldnt worry about it. Do whatever you think is right and if theyre your friend in sure they'll appreciate it"
And I totally agree at that point I was rude
I have a side business, but I haven't created fifteen startups with successful exits, so I feel less important than a lot of people here.
I don't have a Dell XPS 13 Developers Edition running Arch, so I'm not as pure as a lot of people here.
I use Facebook and not Mastodon, so I'm a sheep contributing to the downfall of society.
I live in the Midwest, where nothing happens and land is worthless and colleges are even worse and we don't even have the Internet here do we?
If you think Facebook or Snapchat or Instagram are damaging to the self-worth of its consumers, try being someone who doesn't live in SV and 10x some Phoenix/Elixir at an AI-owned biomed non-profit stealth-mode VC-backed startup collective. I've never even wheeled a suitcase into Paul Graham's office! I'm basically worthless.
It went horribly and a couple of student started insulting me for stupid things in the Facebook class group. It scarred me psychologically and emotionally, and I stopped using Facebook altogether and removed my account.
Until there is true and real accountability for things you say online, using real names should not be a standard. Facebook is a real example of murky online behavior. It's a haven for bullies and other tough playing egos. It's going to poison the internet for a long time.
Yes, this is part of what makes social mobility hard. To move up the socioeconomic strata, you often have to abandon values that were essential to survival or self-worth at lower levels.
They do by not having the business pressure to optimize for an engagement, which leads to artificially highlighting things, hiding negative personal posts, push-notifications and e-mails to pull people back in when they stay away for a day or two, ...
2) It's not uncommon in HN to dislike and/or distrust Facebook.