Social media is providing young people with an accessible form of communication, but its current mainstream implementation is seriously flawed. Every image or text seems to be filtered; kids are evaluating their self worth based on how close their photos resemble other heavily edited pictures. Trying to discuss actual topics is almost impossible because flagging dissenting views has become the primary form of discourse. Virtue signaling seems to be the only way to not be branded as a menace to society. Oh, and there's the whole problem of adults abusing their authority and fame to manipulate the reactions of kids.
There needs to be regulations which prohibit apps from generating content which incites such stupidity. Sure, freedom of speech is precious but when kids interact with one another under the impression that there is limited oversight, they do dumb things. We've all been kids and we can at least attest to that.
> There needs to be regulations which prohibit apps from generating content which incites such stupidity. Sure, freedom of speech is precious but when kids interact with one another under the impression that there is limited oversight, they do dumb things. We've all been kids and we can at least attest to that.
The appropriate entity to police children's behavior is the parent. Some parents do a crappy job, but the state tends to do it even worse.
Some people might feel just as strongly as you do about "violent video games" (defined in some arbitrary way) or "rap music" or "morally objectionable literature" . You wouldn't want them to regulate your use of these, and they don't want you to regulate their use of social media.
I'd say the appropriate entity to police children's behavior is the community.
The state is too powerful and over-reaching (and doesn't have skin in the game), the family unit is too restricted (and not enough people to include a representative variety of opinion).
That would be akin to a parent's ability to see who their kid is hanging out with in real life, without the extent of listening to every word they say.
It has been taught to do so, assisted by the government (overzealous social services, etc), academic "experts" of all kinds, and hysterical media.
This is a very nice piece of writing from the Austin Chronicle that tells the story of a much freer US and community:
So the parents doing it is not the same as the community doing it.
And the appropriate entity to ensure that parents have the ability to police their children's behaviour is the government. As with all other toys, the government can impose usage restrictions and safety levels. Mandating the availability of parental control or oversight on Internet services accessible by children is perfectly within scope.
Parents already have the ability to police their children's behavior. Just because people make decisions about their children that you disagree with doesn't mean there needs to be a law.
Unless the parent is policing the child's behavior, all Internet services are accessible to them. Legally mandatory age-based restrictions/requirements would only be effective if you could strip the internet of all anonymity.
I agree with you thar regulation is not an answer here, however there are places where the government has to step in, things like building regulations etc. and in my opinion single payer healthcare. It should however absolutely not step into a parental role.
I believe this assumes that the generation of the parent understands the psychological warfare being waged on them and their children. Not everyone can recognize an attacker until it is too late.
Whether the attacker is a family member that is also a sexual predator, or a team of psychoanalysts at Facebook, the damage is done all too often before anyone recognizes it.
We have countless examples of people acting in a mob mentality manner because of social media. Moral panic in many ways is a type of mob mentality. I'm not exactly sure how an example (your wikipedia link) of people acting in senseless ways because of what everyone else is doing is supposed to negate people acting in senseless ways because of what everyone else is doing.
There is direct evidence of social media influencing bad patterns of behavior, even if you wouldn't consider this an obvious point, there is hard evidence for it. Everything from which hunts, to bullying people, to SWAT'ing, to getting people to shoot up a pizza place.
>but the state tends to do it even worse.
I'm not sure what evidence there is for the state not being able to adequately control socially-negative behaviors (well, besides drug use, but there is an extreme biological motivation for drug use). We often look to the state in times of social crisis or socially tense situations and it's done a pretty damn good job. Saying the "state does it worse" seems like bald-assertion that ignores the countless examples of where the state sufficiently guides social practices. You could very well argue that you don't like the state doing this, but the state is definitely able to consistently influence social behaviors. Everything from the FCC regulating content to the government influencing common sexual practices.
OP seems to be basing his opinions and perspectives in actual experience and with evidence, without resorting to typical "the government can't do that (even though it already does)" talking points. So good on him.
If it wasn't obvious I definitely think we should be regulating on-line content. The modern internet has shown that it's a tool, and it can be used to empower the darker sides of human behaviors. There is absolutely nothing wrong with curtailing that.
Isn't this just an example of private interests interfering with what the state can do sufficiently in the first place? It's definitely a common problem with the American government, but not necessarily a knock against the state's (as entity) ability to regulate social behaviors in a consistent manner.
Also with the splitting of families, we know that this was intended and explicitly designed as a process by the current administration as a way to socially influence immigrates; it was designed to reduce the amount of people who thought the risk of legal/illegal immigration would be worth it.
These are certainly inhumane practices, no argument there, and I definitely don't agree with them.
And do you really want Silicon Valley making that choice for you?
As for limited free speech vs (nearly) unlimited free speech, this is an old debate and as yet it's not answered, and may not even have an answer. The U.S. 1st amendment is unique in liberal democracies, most countries do in fact have limits on speech. Germany has no problem defining and enforcing the restriction of propaganda of unconstitutional organizations, it is not vague - it is context specific.
Meanwhile the U.S. Constitution didn't protect Japanese Americans from being labeled, and incarcerated en masse, without due process.
It would have been great if when the Department of Homeland Security was created it was called the Department of Defense and the Department of Defense reclaimed its true name, Department of War. I wonder if this idea and practice of renaming something to try and change the nature of a thing started around then, or if it has a much older history.
> This used to mean an official vote by the Senate
No, it didn't. A time of war doesn't require a declaration of war, and while a declaration of war does involve a vote in the Senate, it's not just the Senate, but the Congress (by normal legislative process, e.g., both houses plus the President, or with a subsequent supermajority in the event of a veto, though it's hard to imagine Congress declaring war over a veto.)
> but since WWII the US decided that we no long would have wars with other countries.
No, we didn't. Hence, well, lots of post-WWII war-related legislation, including the War Powers Act.
> Instead the Congress passes resolutions authorizing the use of military force.
Which are exercises if the power to declare war, which requires no special magic words, just like sky other legislative power.
The degree to which businesses and their platforms are subject to "free speech" vs "fighting words" is thus far entirely up to the officers/board of those companies, society has zero say legally, short of re-regulating some of these businesses as public utilities.
Ths is going to be open and on-going question as anonymity permits people the power to say and do things they wouldn't do in person because if they did, they know it would damage their reputations.
And online personas have trivially disposable and resettable reputation.
It is not a technical problem: social medias just magnify the characteristics of the existing society.
I don't own a FB account myself, but for different reasons. Toxic behavior is not the right one IMO, because the solution to this is education on the long run, and on the short run, learning to defend yourself and getting closer to people and environments that suit you better.
The problem with school (if you happen to be in one where you don't fit) is that you don't have the ability to change environment, you are stuck with the same people, and you will be punished for defending yourself.
However, outside of school, and especially on internet, you have all the latitude to do it. So it's only a problem if you focus on the wrong that people do, instead of the good you can do to yourself.
And so I left. And all those bits of 'micro bragging' carry on in the real world - but there you get the fuller picture, and when your friend tells you they have a new car you can see they really got it on HP/loan. The holiday was a credit card, etc. I spend a lot more time with my friends now, in person or on the phone - rather than just thinking I'd connected as I'd liked a post.
That all said I've lately got really into instragram again, precisely as you know that it is all artifice and art.
Caring about likes on social media seems pretty minor compared to the mountains people were already moving to feel good about themselves, so most social media criticism feels empty to me because they ignore the elephant in the room, like OP's suggestion that they need to be regulated.
About your last paragraph, it's a problem when you have to work hard to curate something so you don't have to make bad things. I had the issue myself with internet and computers, I can avoid procrastinating too much but it comes after years of wrong perspective. Ultimately I think most of this era is a waste.
I think the difference is that social media gives a number by which that your success can be measured.
> social medias just magnify the characteristics of the existing society.
But the problem is that it does in an unnatural way that is prone to various kinds of manipulations. In other words it awards dishonesty. Some examples are posting an heavily edited photo, or not posting something that you want for fear of negative karma etc..
> you don't have the ability to change environment,
I don't know, but it looks like having an ability to change the environment as one wishes will only result in stunned growth..
How so? Changing one's environment is usually hard work, and a real learning experience. It's an important lesson to realize that some environments are too toxic to stay in them.
Mmmmm..I am not sure. It seems to me that adapting oneself to a given environment would be far more worthy a learning experience (might be harder as well). I think one should try to find faults in themselves, and fix them, before fixing or outright moving to a different environment.
Imagine a rock that is getting polished. If the rock is given the choice of the file, ending up moving from rougher to smoother until it is comfortable, it will never get polished, right?
Have you thought of viable solutions for this?
As if school choice would make any dent in bullying. I mean a school is a school. If there are teens in it, there will be bullying, drugs, posturing, fakeness, and (gasp) some of them might even have sex.
I think vouchers, or not having vouchers, may solve the problems you guys have with schools. Mostly because you, like me, are probably adults. But let's not pretend that they address these emotional concerns that are causing more and more teens to shy away from social media. It's just silliness to do that.
A conversation about social media and its effect on people and our culture is political from the get-go. Having conversations that don't touch on politics is hard and be careful when you think you've succeeded. Folks are absolutely right to point out the consequences of voucher program when they're presented as a solution to problems.
That is, I agree with you here:
> But let's not pretend that they address these emotional concerns that are causing more and more teens to shy away from social media. It's just silliness to do that.
but want to caution people to think twice when they believe a discussion isn't political because it almost always is, technology included.
The inequality is already there, the current system only serves to hide it and maintain it. Why not try letting go and opening up the door for more students to move around? It would give us a better idea of where the problems are so we can address them.
And if you take the kids like that from the mediocre schools, or, really, take what money their taxes provide for the school system, you're just leaving the disadvantaged kids to be more disadvantaged.
Let kids move, sure, but the funding shouldn't move with them.
It does, but it's not only that. For a student to excel they need a lot of different things and if they're deprived of any of them they will not do well. In your case, you may see a lot of students with a family/home environment that makes it difficult for them to focus. In other cases a student may have a more supportive home environment but their classmates don't and the slower pace the class may run at as a result leaves the student bored and disinterested.
So a student needs a supportive family, access to proper nutrition, but also a curriculum of really challenging courses that pushes him/her to learn a lot. The latter need is why wealthy parents pull their kids out of public schools.
Essentially, the problem with public schooling is the same one we saw with the mortgage crisis and one the insurance industry deals with all of the time: adverse selection . Students that struggle due to lack of nutrition or a difficult family environment need a far greater share of the funding allocated to the school. Students with strong and supportive backgrounds get far less out of a school that focuses on struggling students. This encourages them to leave, just as an insurance policy that charges the same premium to both smokers and non-smokers tends to drive out the non-smokers.
What we end up with are schools with disproportionate numbers of struggling students. So what's the answer? I don't think there is a single answer. A ton of commentators out there look to education as a silver bullet for class mobility. Yes, education correlates very strongly with career outcome. But education itself is an outcome of a whole host of factors and I strongly believe those need to be fixed, first.
The current system is not hiding or maintaining the problem. The problem is pretty blatant and well known.
Experts don't really know what makes one school better than another. Is it performance on standardized test scores? Improvements on standardized test scores? College acceptance rate?
Even when you do decided on a metric, one of the biggest impacts on educational outcome is parental involvement. Is school A really more effective than school B, or just more effective at attracting involved parents?
If experts have a hard time judging the effectiveness of a school, most parents don't have a chance.
For an example of what this looks like, take a look at for-profit colleges. Through advertising and information asymmetry they attract students who will rack up tens of thousands in student loans for mostly worthless degrees. The most successful for-profit colleges aren't the ones that are the best at educating students, they're the ones that are the best at marketing and sales.
Private schools are usually more expensive because there’s a lower ratio of students to teachers. If all the rich kids left, you’d have schools being merged together to save money; you wouldn’t have the few(er) poor kids left behind with one teacher covering multiple classes.
Genuine question: why do you think the issue of educational inequality is hidden? The problem areas are fully known and there are dedicated charities working to address it all around the world. Is the argument we need to make the situation so worse to bring it into the public conscious more?
In the case of LA, your assertions are just not true. They seem to be based on generalities about monopoly markets, and to be un-informed by how charters really play out.
The charter school era has been a period of great change - but there are some really bad charters, and some of them fail suddenly during the school year. Some of the for-profit charters have been notably corrupt, and oversight of small charters is hard. As a recent example, a charter near my home closed just a few days after the beginning of the school year, due to insufficient enrollment (http://www.pucschools.org/iprep/). Now those families are searching for another school. Most of them will end up at their neighborhood school after all.
To return to your "market" concept: one of the fundamentals of properly functioning markets is information. It is very hard for parents - even well-informed parents - to gather information about the real quality of instruction at a school. (The things that parents respond to don't really correlate with educational quality.) Another fundamental is liquidity - this is just not a liquid market. People like to stick with one school if possible - for good reasons.
Another problem with the "market" concept is that provision of elementary education is not really a market transaction. The teachers are not really in it mostly for the pay. The parents don't treat it as a market either. What was the last time you volunteered time at your local grocery store or lumber yard?
You and I agree that there are problems with "monopoly" elementary education - but throwing charters at it as a simple market solution has not worked out well. It seems to be a more complex problem.
Better to eliminate the reason for good and bad schools - using property taxes. Also source for 40k? That's about 4x as much as it's reported to be.
And, as mentioned, transportation is a big issue for many as well. School busses are nice for those parents who have to work at 7, or earlier, and can't take their kids to school. Same going home. Unless, of course, you're going to start bussing kids to all the new schools that pop up, assuming any do.
Also, how do you deal with regulations and standards? If my tax money is going to a private school, it better follow a standard and not be teaching creationism, etc.
And I, too, would like to see your source on cost of education... You also assume that the private schools won't all be owned by the same company or that they won't agree to set prices the max available from the vouchers... Or higher.
I'm doubtful about your assertion that new
schools will pop up.
(For a couple of years my kid went to a school that encouraged donation of ~$50/day/kid for voluntary absences, to make up for the lost state fees for that day of instruction.)
NJ has a program that provides education aid to underperforming students (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbott_district). Chris Christie looked into defunding it while he was in office(https://www.nj.com/education/2016/09/christie_wants_court_to...), which makes me strongly suspect that this sort of thing isn't available in a lot of other states...
The US Federal Gov primary source of revenue is the federal income tax, while State Gov budgets are based on income taxes, property taxes, and sales(VAT) taxes. Some states have no income tax and some have no sales taxes, some have very high/low property taxes.
Additionally, some counties (several cities) and even cities have income taxes or additional sales/property taxes. It's very difficult to calculate what you effectively pay in taxes and where those taxes go.
I imagine this effect is getting less pronounced as cash is used less and less in transactions.
Relying on peer bonding falls down when you're unlucky to be placed with those who're unengaged in the system (mostly not their own fault, society has let them down, doesn't make the impact any less shitty for all involved though).
Until you make education more engaging (usually through quality teachers), and invest in supporting those who've been let down to the extent they've given up on progressing in life by age 12, without being destructive to others, it's going to be a clusterfuck all round.
 those who don't care enough to not set fire to the classroom are unlikely to care about turning up for detention or getting a bad referral...
So you didn't have breaks between classes? You were stuck in the classroom all day?
If I were to go back to school right now, I would live it vastly differently because of what I know about others, myself, and the values of things.
My parent moved around a lot, and I went to 11 different education facilities. The quality of the experience is immensely different depending of the school and yes, money helps. I did not live the same experience in poor areas and rich ones.
But, assuming you get only one school, and it sucks, you can only learn those by either:
- growing up
- being taught about it
The first option is moot since you are still a kid in school.
The second one assumes your parents are able to do that, but if they were, you wouldn't have had the problem in the first place.
Actually, even paying for a top school is only half of a good solution. Toxic environment can take different shapes, and are everywhere in life. Also, you may be a profile that doesn't fit easily in most places. Being born awkward is a thing :) Better learn to deal with it than working around the problem.
So no, I have no solution, even if I acknowledge changing schools help.
However, I do know what my current self would tell my previous self:
- conformity is a balance. Full conformity will kill your personality. But total rejection will make your life much harder. It's unfair, especially since a lot of what people conform to can be things you think very badly about. However, it's important to pick your battle: forcing yourself to do a few conventional stuff makes the ride much smoother for a reasonable price. Again, it's unfair to have to do that. But think of it as gravity: you can try to oppose it as much as you want, but it's not going anywhere. Better learn to deal with it. Language and appearance are low hanging fruits: they don't affect you as deeply as activities.
- it's important to learn to defend yourself. This includes several steps. Accepting that people will do things you can't imagine doing yourself and can't believe they do, that destroy and hurt. That doesn't make them bad persons, but it is here, and you have to accept it exists. Then realize you don't have any reason to put up with it. Then learn to fight it of in a progressive manner: bad behavior is not a 1/0 switch, it's a curve and you need to answer early, and proportionally to what's happening. It's exhausting at first, but it prevents the "silent for long, then explode or collapse", and you will be surprised about the positive consequences of doing this right. Setting and respecting boundaries (even artificial ones) are an important social mechanism. This doesn't help with people in charge behaving badly however. Kids life suck for that: you are basically at their mercy unless you are ready to pay an ungodly price.
- pay the price. All those things have a price. Again, it's unfair. But people will get mad at you. You will make enemies. You will be punished. Hurt. And other unexpected costs. Assessing the cost and making sure it's worth it is a matter of experience. But if you don't chose the price to pay, you just end up paying one anyway, and one that is assigned to you.
- the people in charge are not here to help you. People have their own agenda and ego. Some are great, but most will protect themself and the institution. Again it does not make them bad persons, but play the game understanding that when you'll have a problem, they probably won't be the solution despite what everyone says, and that applying a solution may make them act against you. Stash that in the "price to pay" column, and make a choice.
- stop being a jerk. When you are in an environment where you don't fit, you often react in a jerky way. Some become aggressive, some arrogant, some needy, some victimize them-self. It's a natural reaction. But it makes things worse. You don't have to be nice unless you feel you'd like to. Don't force yourself (it's a horrible idea). But don't be an ass unless you need to: this you should force yourself to avoid. It's incredible the number of situations that completely change depending of the way you react to it. A victim posture attract bullies. Arrogance breed rejection. Etc. A good starting rule is: be positive first, then next time, behave like they behaved the last time with you.
- it's ok if people get angry. Your parent may be angry, but they are not always right and don't live what you do. If you don't think you are screwing up (and deep inside you know when you do), just be ok with the fact they are angry. They have their own perspective. Same for teachers. Same for friends. Also accept you will fail and makes plenty of mistakes. It's ok to get angry at people as well. It should not, however, be a permanent state. That would indicate something deeply wrong. But, allow yourself to antagonize people and vice-versa: this gives you space to act. Adult are not always right, they don't have the same objectives, constraints and they don't have the whole picture. And other kids, well, they are like you. They are just doing their best to live this thing.
- you can't win all the fights. There may be hundreds of things you want to change. And they may all be worth it. But you are limited in time and space. Physics is a b*. So pick a few, invest yourself to them, but let the others go. You can't defend the weak, be popular, make sure people recycle, call out the mistake of teachers, get the girl, motivate your friends to quit drugs, win the championship, promote animal rights and have straight A+. Unfair ? Well yes. Guess what, you'll also end up dying.
- don't blindly listen to advises (including this comment). I've been given terrible advises by people that I trusted and that cared about me. "Just be yourself". "Don't listen to them". "It doesn't matter what they think". "Fighting is bad". "Tell your teacher about it". Now I don't know what will be your conclusion, and I don't pretend I know the one-and-only-truth. But it's important to try things, reject what failed, and stick to what works. Test an advice, see the result. Be honest: what happened ? Does that make your life better now ? And later ? Is the cost worth it ?
Deep insides me I knew those things but didn't apply them because it seemed dark.
The funny thing is, applying them made life easier, and happier for me, and people around me. It's a weird thing. But basically, reality is not perfect, and when you start embracing the imperfect side of it instead of mourning how it could be, it becomes very fun !
People say that you should be yourself and don't listen to others despite the fact that we know that it's at best disingenuous, because we have a need for others to validate our identities. Similarly, we talk about "true love" and "justice" because we need to be loved and we need to believe that justice exists.
How do you teach something like this? In a classroom, or is it only good incase it comes from experienced parents?
I hated PE classes until the one or two I had to take in high school. Then I could elect to take weightlifting. I wasn’t coordinated at all but I could “pick things up and put them down”.
But no amount of “self-confidence” and having a “positive self-image” would stop a short fat uncoordinated computer geek  from getting bullied. No I wasn’t bullied in high school but I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with being “self confident” and I wouldn’t have been able to “defend myself” against the football players if half of them weren’t my friends.
 I got better as an adult - got more into physical fitness and became a part time fitness instructor.
Teaching this can only be done by somebody close to you. Family or friends.
However, two conditions make it rare that it happens: said relatives must know about it, and they must be willing to teach it.
Very few people actually know about this: either they do it without understanding that they do it, or they don't do it. It's a rare combination to have somebody acting in this way, and understanding deeply the ins and outs of it.
As for the will: teaching it means it does not go against the person agenda. It means the person must have the ability to teach. And the desire to invest the time and energy to do so, as it's a long process that involves patience, failure, and a lot of leading by example.
Bottom line: it's hard to be a good parent. Damn it, who knew?
However, if I decided to teach it to somebody (I decided not to have children), I wish I would be able to do do the following thing:
- Be extremely honest. Half of the problems in this game is about all the lies we tell each others. That adults are always right. That schools is always here to help you. You have to be nice. They are wrong and you are right, or vice versa. Justice exists outside of the human mind. Being a child is easy. I'd talk about the pain I had, I listen to their pain.
- Talk about cost. A lot. Social cost. Punishment. Long term consequences in life. Being hurt. And hurting others. This must be demystified. It's not something special. It's life. It's ordinary. It's not the end of the world and it's the same for everybody. You can find happiness between those. But you need to make conscious choices about the costs, and not let them happen to you.
- Be patient. Accept failure. Talk about it. My father used to double anything the school would punished me with. So basically, if a bully kicked my ass and I defended myself, I would pay 3 times for basically minding my own business. This is the opposite of what you want.
- Teach about basic grooming, fashion, language and social conventions. Show them as tools instead of constraints. You can change clothes and wording to match occasions: formal when needed, fashionable when required, personal when with loved ones. Once you master them, you can actually use them less and less and be yourself more and more without friction. Life is funny that way. But as long as you reject them as artifact of our sick societal system, they will be a burden to you.
- Have the "boundaries" talk. How to respect others. How to make others respect yours. By body language. Verbally. Physically if needed. It's weird to have something that artificial to deal with, and so it's even more important to highlight it.
- Lead by example. Speaking only helps so much. You must show. And involve.
This is more abstract than guitar. There is not one technic you can follow.
Those skills use less the intellectual part of the brain and more the emotional one. It makes them hard to mass teach because words suck for explaining them.
I don't have a simple solution to offer, as I learned it by trial and errors, and also luck.
Therapy helped me but it's not scalable. Meditation too but it's very slow, and good luck to make teenagers practice it seriously. I would still recommand them, with the warning that quality vary hugely between practicians.
Lots of good books have helped as well. They are useless without practice though.
Because in the end, the only way to learn is to be in the situation, react differently and evaluate, then adapt.
Anyway, to all those with these challenges, good luck. It's possible to live an happy life as a square in a circle world. But it does requires to adapt and you may be the only one in charge to find a way.
Despite my seemingly pessimistic view on the topic, a positive way of seing this is to say : hey, nobody did it, let's make a website with plenty of content, practical examples in videos and exercices for those who need it.
You'd need a dozen of contributors with different social background and gender to make something that's worth it.
Things need to be very visual, so acting will be important. You need kids to be part of it as you'd get out of date easily. You'd need to remove judgement out of it. Not the right place to get your "drug are bad" messages through is.
Repetition is important, but sustainable progression is another. Practicing those skills will get you in trouble at first.
But more importantly, the emphasis must be based on real experiences from the teaching and in the exercices.
Hard to get righ. Interesting challenge.
A nice idea to explore.
I was agreeing with you until there. We don't need censorship. Anything you see online is a reflection of the attitudes and education of the people using it.
Flagging what children can see/can do is a necessary part of education, the question is where to draw the line and what is considered damaging enough that it needs to be marked as off limits
Yes, but that's a choice ought to be made by the parents. Not the government or some other party. It's the parents who choose how to raise their kids.
If something because a problem for the whole society, parents won't have their say in it. For instance violent content would arguably fall in this bucket.
For this specific discussion, the question would be if children exposed to some of the most predatory apps have provably destructive behaviour (for instance if it affects their health such that they are not able to participate in regular social activities, or get depressed and because bring a high cost for the whole society etc.)
I'd see censoring at the society level or not depend on the answer to that question.
I noticed you didn't want to use the word government there and instead used "society". More often than not it's unelected bureaucrats doing the regulating, so it's not "society".
I think that more often than not the people pushing these decisions follow an idea of what most people would agree with.
For instance even if a regulator deeply believes eating babies is OK, they wouldn’t push a law in that direction, understanding nobody would back them up.
They would still be biased and try to limit punishment on baby eating, but there would be enough other people countering them.
In a way, if nobody resists or succesfuly rejects a proposal, I’d argue that proposal goes along what society accepts as valid, even if if asked in a poll a lot of people would disagree with it.
Calling it censorship makes it sound bad. But if you think about it, we have these restrictions of behaviours outside the digital world already, sometimes with options for parents to override it.
Where I live, alcohol can be consumed by children if given by their parents, but child pornography is illegal regardless of consent.
Predatory digital apps have a certain level of danger, and we need to figure out how much society should protect us from it.
I'd guess that most parents agree that they don't want their kids drinking alcohol and don't want others selling it to the kids. That's why this behavior is made illegal.
However, I do not think that there would be such consensus on other questions, like when you should tell how babies are born, what politician is not doing a good job, or what books and TV shows should be banned for kids at home, etc. There is no agreement on these matters so there should be no laws governing them.
At least, I assume that the people you want to give the freedom to decide matters by themselves, are also people who would accept changing their mind (at a greater scale changing the consensus) when faced with credible facts going against their beliefs.
To take your “when you should tell how babies are born” example, I think we agree at some point kids need to know. There is no consensus on when it should happen exactly, but we know a portion of the kids will have life or death issues if it’s not done at puberty.
As I see it, idealy we’ll want to put laws to enforce sex education at puberty, and let parents do what they want before that.
You can censor the prevalence of something on a specific platform, but users will always be able to link to any content, if they choose to do so.
You would also fail to make the internet safe for children. I know, children do stink, but they are probably better at locating information they are looking for than their parents. Only direct parenting can help here because there is no feasible technical solution.
So we could draw lines all day and it wouldn't really matter anyway.
The claim that socially media don't select and filter is nonsense. Of course they do. They're a huge part of a social feedback loop that selects and reinforces the most average "popular" behaviours, while filtering out more challenging high-effort social edge cases.
IMO the edge cases are where all the interesting things happen, so keeping them out of the public eye is a form of censorship itself.
I can think of many improvements:
* Boosting instead of retweeting can avoid viral outrage, explanation - https://www.codesections.com/blog/mastodon-elevator-pitch/
* Reduce the incentives & rewards for signalling and curating an online identity, e.g. avoid Like buttons and Share'd content. Snapchat shows it's possible for Like-less social media without curated identity to still be popular, despite lacking Like-button dopamine hits, and the vacuum left by viral content and image grooming might¹ be replaced with socializing with your friends and ability to be yourself (¹ see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11828280)
* Should "goes on your permanent record" always be the platform's default behavior for social interactions?
But I'm just a mere coder watching social media make my social circles ill, I wonder what systems real psychologists could come up with and test.
You know what else gives people dopamine shot? The next piece of chocolate cake, the cigarette that's always overdue, having the drink after long day of work, finally being able to hit the bong and so on.
"Social media" is as much of an addiction on a biological level as drugs. We know that prohibition doesn't work.
We should start with helping people find ways to feed their (dopamine) reward system with more meaningful stuff. Help accomplish them small and bigger things, promote real human interaction.
Or, put another way, if there's a wasp buzzing in the room, plugging one's ears to its sound doesn't make it go away. You just no longer know when you're about to get stung.
As for how to navigate these platforms responsibly- people have to care about consequences, and social media of the modern form is still too new for society to have come to grips with it. I think it will happen with time, as a mix of cultural and legal adaptations. As to what form that will ultimately take, well... Good question, that.
If anything, you should parcel out some examples of what that would look like instead of +1'ing some abstraction notion of it.
Just do your best to identify and avoid toxic situations.
I see this happening a lot on HN as well. I think the issue isn't so much age or education but rather people are lazy and/or don't often like confrontation.
Which sacred cows did I miss?
Look for the light gray posts.
I will flag any submission that I see is over political even one that I agree with. Politics and religion topics rarely lead to intellectually stimulating discussion.
Ban things I don't like.
Don't be like that. Think about that statement.
These are a subset of behaviors and clearly abstracted (not the scientific or core components of behavior) but are used for example purposes.
In these cases, social media provides a platform for conducting these behaviors and elevates the individuals that push the behaviors to the noticeable extreme.
In fact, social media with all the likes, shares, followers, friends, is based on the principle that certain behaviors are celebrated and others ignored.
Adding to the fact that it's difficult for humans to develop self-awareness, maturity, empathy, as most adults are fairly lacking in these areas; therefore, social media will be filled with behaviors that are hateful, ignorant, bullying and more.
One potential solution to combat such behavior is having a suggestion box in the feeds that can tell when bullying behavior is happening and suggest to both the bully and the bullied, how to handle or develop empathy/self awareness.
The feature could be required reading, it could create a forced break in usage. This is more about educating than censoring, as it's difficult to censor, easier to educate. Especially with potential false positives.
Social media being defined as anything with a comment field. Stores being defined as any site that accepts payment or a building that has a cash register.
If you are in a legal class (minor) that says you are not legally allowed to work or be self-sufficient, why are you allowed in a place/website that primarily exists to sell you things or engage with a place/website whose primary business purpose is to expose you to ads in order to sell you things indirectly?
It’s not just “kids”, I am 35 and I see my peers posting images of themselves in their Calvin Kline underwear. These of course are not models being paid, but are obviously replicating professional CK model shoots of the Kardashians. Maybe instead of like buttons, there should be a take this crap down, examine your actions and seek professional help button.
"Is this men or women posing? [..] the language about models and comparison to the Kardashians... and also the contempt... make me think they're talking about women."
When I questioned it:
"I mean, you have to admit, speaking with that kind of contempt about /men/ is a tad less common"
And then shows me that CK does clothes for women, there are no (living) male Kardashians of note, and the Kardashian women have done a CK photoshoot.
I don't know what to make of this, except you might want to know you're apparently telegraphing "contempt for women" loudly enough for it to come through on a second hand reading.
Could you elaborate on this?
All that being said, I am still ultimately troubled by what appears to me as an almost "helplessness" in face of these technologies. We could theoretically everything from NSA wiretapping to long-range coordination of crime to the invention of the telephone. But for some reason, people have a sense that the telephone is just a tool, and part of the tradeoff of any tool is that it can allow bad things as well as good. Ultimately most of this happens on the internet itself: great democratizer and megaphone for ideas good and bad. I feel we should begin to educate and look at this new breed of technologies (social media, etc.) the same way we look and educate with regard to stoves: they allow us to make tea, but be careful, you can also burn yourself.
The thing I find most fascinating about this current discussion is with the repeated proposal of regulating or "nationalizing" social networks. One of the favorite arguments of those speaking out against social media is that since they are private companies, the rules of "free speech" do not have to apply: Facebook and Twitter are free to take a stand on acceptable speech far more opinionated than the Federal government. And yet, if we were to nationalize social networks, they would then necessarily fall under the First Amendment: meaning the speech posted on there should absolutely be protected, and thus accomplishing the exact opposite goal.
I want to make clear that I think the anxiety you and many others feel regarding these new technologies is completely justified. I believe however that you and all of us are much more in control of our destinies than we think though. Then again, I come from the age of the early internet when many of us felt the web was the place where the little guy could absolutely win -- this may be a completely incorrect notion now, but it doesn't yet feel like it to me. Technology moves quicker and quicker, and thus will always feel like "this time is different", and perhaps eventually it will be, but I think the flip side to this built-in fickleness is that we get a lot of redos, and we shouldn't jump to creating legislation that addresses a very specific moment in history that for all we know will be over in the blink of an eye, but have repercussions we don't fully understand for much longer.
Hundreds of years ago the earth being round would have been one of those not credible ideas that you would have suppressed.
As I read it, PP advocates for ignoring those people not suppressing them. Ignoring somebody and punishing them for what they publish is not the same.
Or perhaps more importantly, the question is who does the ignoring? The user or the platform?
Personally, I think users (and not platforms) need better to tools to selectively ignore. For example, it would be great if I could mark somebody on the social network as "unreliable source" and then all people parroting or use that source (transitively through the social graph) would be (proportionally) marked unreliable as well. And vice versa, why cannot I mark things that come from people I know personally as more reliable than things that come from some Russian troll farm (or - for the balance - American astroturfing startup)?
I don't know how you can spin undervaluing something automatically in an algorithm as anything but suppressing it. And it's not 'ignoring' if the person never seem them in the first place because they've been 'undervalued' in the ranking.
The big problem is that organizations like FB or Google want to "own" the social graph. They won't let you (except in special cases) to play with it.
Also, the idea that Western civilisation itself has gotten more scientific is both wishful, and imo would be a terrible thing if it did happen. We've just traded one appeal to authority (priests) for another (pop science promoters and journalists).
Materialism is a great way to investigate natural phenomena but I would hate to live in a society that treats it as a moral principle.
I think that teenagers need to practice filtering and evaluating their use of online services somehow so they can decide for themselves when things are getting out of hand. That implies some form of foundation or ground to stand on so to speak.
I wouldn't go as far to claim that they don't "exhibit rationality". I think that we are pretty rational as different beings come (we don't know of anything that comes close to human common sense). What Kahneman is talking about mostly are heuristics, which sometimes can be exploited and lead to irrational behavior.
I think there is a sort of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias%E2%80%93variance_tradeoff
If you are conservative, you reduce variance (by sticking to your experience), and if you are progressive, you reduce bias (by learning new things).
I actually agree with this! But wouldn't you say that using social media is "putting it into production"?
those who learn by reading
those who learn by observing others
but that third group just _has_ to go and pee on that electric fence.
We can't optimize society to coddle the fence-micturators 100% of the time, unfortunately. Solutions to that problem "don't scale", or get terribly fascist in a hurry.
Bu that doesn't mean the answer is to ban everything potentially dangerous. All kinds of activities nowadays (from everyday things like driving to extreme sports) carry a large degree of risk. The answer is simply to accept that freedom to make your own choices means freedom to screw up, and accept that if you're not hurting someone else, then it's your responsibility to stay safe and society won't stop you.
Yep, but the option is hidden away. You have to click on the comment time to view it first.
We spent this past Sunday navigating around Paris with a paper map, which was felt romantic in kind of a nostalgic way. I realized on the Metro that I kept making eye contact with people older than me - because they were the only ones not on their phones the entire time. I also realised how much not having a phone stimulates my curiosity - I spent my time looking around, listening to new things, and paying attention to what was happening around me.
I think phones are powerful tools. But, your brain gets too used to constant stimulation. I think that it makes you less patient and more anxious as you get used to these constant hits of dopamine. You can never relax, and it makes it tough to live in the moment.
That is exactly it.
If you're constantly scrolling through social sites, you're either mostly living in the past by hoping someone engaged with whatever you posted or living in the future by thinking "I wonder what XYZ posted, or what's trending on HN".
Stopping to live in the moment sounds like the biggest cliche ever, but it really is one of the "secrets" to really enjoy what you're doing with no forms of procrastination or other bullshit.
Speaking about myself, I only have notifications for emails and for messages directly addressed to me. I might check it occasionally on the bus to see what popped up in the news but other than that, I don't have the need to pull it from the pocket all the time.
What exactly do people do different than this with their phones? I really feel that I have been missing something amazing with the smartphone usage when I read posts like this.
I went to a national park with my GF to watch the recent Perseid. There was no phone signals there. Except for the map, I didn't need it so I didn't care. At multiple times though I reached for my phone to Google questions we were asking ourselves, on nature and space. I guess in a way it pushed us to think more about the subject instead of getting an instant answer, so in a ways it's good, but we never got any actual answers, we just forgot about theses questions though, which I don't feel is good...
I'm running a business on my phone, so for me - yes. If I pull out my phone to take a photo on a Sunday and I see that a big client emailed into support, I'll get distracted and feel the need to respond quickly. Monday through Saturday, this is the proper reaction - so I need at least one day a week to disconnect and enforce more strict boundaries.
If that isn't only SMS messages you likely use it like most do. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc. I don't have a phone off day but I don't use any social media on my phone at all. I do believe anyone who does could use some time off because it is an addiction and most are addicted. Using it with other people around really should be frowned upon. Like back in the day when you only called people on the phone after 9 and before 21 and not at eating times. It is bad behavior really.
People lament the absence of spontaneous conversation in their lives, but they don't realize that it's because they don't ever make eye contact with anyone else around them. There are tons of people everywhere who love to chat in line, or waiting for a bus, or sitting in waiting rooms. It's how we used to pass time before we bought a black mirror to entertain ourselves.
That seems incorrectly taken statement. They represent it as though people are leaving social media. That is a false logic. E.g. Peeps may have swapped instagram to snapchat...
It would be interesting to know what % dont use social media by age group.. Something here: http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-20...
I would consider reddit, missing in the article, more of a social network than WhatsApp.
The definition of a social network is not in its problems but in its features.
And I'd say one of the defining features of a social network is discovery (e.g. new people, groups that share a common interest, etc.). This is completely lacking in WhatsApp - as you already need to be able to "have access" to the people you want to talk with before you can contact them - but is the integral experience with facebook or instagram.
That are just features of every communication platform, even the traditional postal services.
AFAIK, most people consider social media platforms to be a subset of communication platforms with many to many communication, discovery, community etc..
I'm with you though that the groups feature of WhatsApp could be seen as some basic form of social media. (For the sake of theoretic precision; certainly not for introducing censorship.)
You can post status updates (images, message, videos, ...) with WhatsApp: https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/android/26000031/
That doesn't mean people are exactly choosing freely now, they might be following the herd because all their friends are following the herd. But at least upstarts can compete for the future herds.
So there's 5 anecdotes from 5 teenagers, all describing their dislike/disuse of social media. I don't know about you, but I think I could get 5 teenagers to back basically any claim I wanted with stories if I asked enough of them. I'm not saying that gathering opinions of the target audience is a bad thing, but just that 5 hand-selected samples out of an incredibly diverse group of people may not be entirely representative or meaningful.
The only qualitative information presented here are the statistics, which I'll rattle off:
63% of British Schoolchildren in 2017 would be happy if social media was never invented according to a survey
A survey of 9000 internet users found that in 2016, 66% said social media was important to them, but only 57% in 2018
58% of US teenagers had taken a break from one social media platform
Facebook users aged 18-24 in Britain expected to fall 1.8% this year
41% of gen z teens said social media made them sad, anxious, or depressed
I think it's entirely possible that there is a large trend among Gen Z of moving away from social media, but I don't think these statistics or anecdotes do a good job backing the claim up.
Do you mean quantitative?
Snapchat makes it really easy for me to share what I'm doing, my location, and to quickly meet up with people. Messenger is great for group chats that I talk about garbage with mates all day. Instagram is good for sharing and talking about art and design. And Facebook is filled to the brim of fantastic memes, general shitposting and lovely private groups for specific interests. I'm constantly seeing events that my friends are attending on Facebook, and it makes it really easy to organise groups to attend them.
What's not to love? Honestly, I read these threads and just think y'all just using social media wrong; no wonder why you're all having such a miserable time.
It's funny how many people don't see the irony of it. Do people lurk on Facebook or reddit, waiting for the right moment to tell everyone they don't use social media anymore?
Do teenagers have unhealthy relationships with social media? Of course. They're teenagers. A lot of their relationships ARE unhealthy at that age anyway, and if disconnecting completely is the best way to rectify those issues, more power to them.
What gets me is grown adults on HN talking about "abhoring social media" and "no phone Sundays with my girlfriend" and "having a minimal social media presence because I hate what it's become" and "I believe social media time should be controlled" and "social media is a class A drug". Like, chill. Go follow a few meme pages and hide the posts of the people you genuinely detest. There are ways to avoid those unhealthy cycles without entirely disconnecting oneself from literally all one's peers and losing the immense utility that social media provides.
- Facebook/messenger is just for messenging convenience and facebook specific groups. I'll make a commitment to using it once a every 1-3 months to keep up with people, looking at friends profiles etc, liking every post when I use it to support other people, then waiting for the next cycle. I post once every 3 months at least to tell people I'm still in good health
- Instagram → dumping cool things I find or cool events I take part of, or things of general interest to me, photos with friends, etc.I'll scroll through every now and then when I'm bored
- Snapchat → don't care, I only message people that only use this
- Linkedin → don't care, once a week / month I'll look at it. Rather build meaningful conversations with people I care about.
- twitter → I just shitpost all my random ideas and things I learn, and cool youtube videos I like / companies I support
Really just know what value your getting out of social media. Steel yourself and don't let ego and envy get to you, just be happy for the other person.
Also, when you learn to accept there's no such thing as privacy, it removes a big cognitive burden. I don't care that instagram is scraping all my photos on my phone, I don't care what google is gathering data from me, things are so much easier when you just accept it for what it is.
I don't care how many people are looking at my profile or how many followers I have, how many likes, its shallow metrics. I care about qualitative things, not quantative.
The amount of social anxiety and peer pressure from constant liking causes so many people on insta and fb to conform to popular opinion or get into harsh arguments with hateful language instead of having meaningful conversations. I think we need to encourage major social media platforms to remove quantitative features from social media such as likes and follower counts. It is just an emotionally destructive feature
(disclaimer: I am not the creator of the extension)
I like it because it helps me meet up with people in person, reach out to those who I wouldn't otherwise be in contact with, and see the passions, opinions and activities of my friends and peers.
I call them "me too"s, and downvote and hide their comments. They aren't helping the conversation, but they look like they are, so they get many upvotes. C'est la vie.
The data is pretty clear and teenage anxiety, depression etc are off the charts and can be directly attributed to Social Media. The problems are real.
Honestly, all of these "I refuse to use social media!" type articles just remind me of people who spam "all the music of this generation sucks; I'm 14 and I was born in the wrong generation" on YouTube videos.
Going against the mainstream often is a package deal that comes bundled with a superiority complex against people who choose to engage in the activity that you choose not to engage in.
I saw a comment in this very HN thread that goes so far as to say that youth who use social media display "intellectual vulnerability," and that _not_ using social media is an asset warranting immediate hire.
Social media exists as a way to facilitate communication online over a long-distance, i.e. old friends who now live in different places. Problems that we think are "unique" to social media, like the loudest, wrongest voices getting the most attention, exist in human society outside of social media as well. It's not an exclusive phenomenon.
Of course, not everybody has to use social media.
But you're not a special snowflake just because you don't have an app installed on your phone...
So? They aren't that off.
There's this widespread belief that things are either (a) constant, always equally good, or (b) improving all the time. Some people think music for example belongs to (a). But any student of the history of art will know that there are periods where great works come out (in this or that art), and periods where there is drought, or which the main output is crap, and few things last (or even interest people at their own time).
Now, music today has tons of outlets, and there are good works in niche spheres across various genres that sell little or nothing.
But that the mainstream charts are getting worse and more formulaic (and money driven) is a near certainty. In fact it has even been studied, that chart topping songs have lost both melodic and harmonic richness, have flattened their dynamic range (the "loudness wars"), and have regressed several school years in vocabulary used.
>Social media exists as a way to facilitate communication online over a long-distance
That was the demo. The real product has been used for much more, and much worse, than that (from bullying to fake news, and from propaganda to surveillance).
As McLuhan said, the medium is the message, and the way social media structure communication is more important than what is communicated.
>But you're not a special snowflake just because you don't have an app installed on your phone...
Well, if most everybody else has it, then by definition they are a special snowflake, at least in that regard.
And since that's quite a big part of how people today spend their time (1-3 hours a day on social media), that person is probably a special snowflake in other regards too. For one, they get to form their thoughts outside the social media echo chamber...
Are you sure that belief is as widespread as (c) things are always getting worse? Do you find that regardless, this is subjective and saying things are a near certainty like it's objective is just reinforcing the parent's point?
> And since that's quite a big part of how people today spend their time (1-3 hours a day on social media), that person is probably a special snowflake in other regards too. For one, they get to form their thoughts outside the social media echo chamber...
Not sure it's fair to take an average and compare it to an individual and pretend there is no middle ground. It's even less fair to assume that one on social media cannot form their own thoughts, that ones off social media can, and that other mediums of social activity that people spend hours of a day doing don't have other effects. It comes off as guessing at best and curmudgeony at worst. If your social media situation is a thoughtless echo chamber (or your social situation in any aspect), that isn't fair to assume this is the case for everyone.
Depends on the era, society and demographics. In the US, and in the geekier communities, it's usually (b), and sometimes (a), seldom (c).
>Do you find that regardless, this is subjective and saying things are a near certainty like it's objective is just reinforcing the parent's point?
No, I don't believe it is subjective. It might be fuzzy, and some might disagree, but e.g. quality of art output for a period is not subjective, in the way e.g. color preferences are.
>Not sure it's fair to take an average and compare it to an individual and pretend there is no middle ground.
The average mentioned is not like averaging mine and Bill Gates wealth. The standard deviation is quite low. If anything those that use their phones just say 10 minutes per day are the outliers.
Not because I thought "the music of this generation sucks" but because it was easy to see the horrific way the Internet was going to go with walled gardens and centralization. I predicted 10 years ago if you uploaded and tagged photos on facebook you were giving up 100% of your privacy forever, as now every single photo of you ever taken (private or in public) will eventually be tracked to a name. I think generations coming up today really missed out on seeing the potential of the Internet, and what's it's become is nothing resembling the dreams of the 90's.
There are far more reasons to be wary and not participate in social media than "I'm just better than everyone".
And yes - it's a huge hit to your ability to continue an active social life. But things like SMS, Instant Messenger phones, e-mail, etc. still exist. The other downside is you tend to collect friends willing to deal with that, so it can kind of put you into a bubble if you don't reach outside your comfort zone.
I've found dating someone with an already established social media presence (e.g. too late to opt out, why bother) is a decent compromise :)
Also Gen X, also don’t touch social media, and I don’t agree with this at all, despite how much it gets repeated here. Staying away from Facebook has had zero effect on my social life or ability to catch up with friends and family. In fact, I’m busier than ever outside of work and home. I assure you all, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch and maintain an active social life without scrolling through a company moderated ‘feed’ on your phone. The old-school ways still work fine and, as a bonus, don’t require you to be glued to your phone.
Swapping social media details has been more effective for me because often I don't pounce on a number immediately. And I would hate to lose contact with someone just because I didn't.
Social media keeps someone on the fringe of your vision. Bit easier to spark something from that than cold-texting "hey, it's Jeremy from that one party two months ago. remember me?"
Besides, at age 30 and having been dating for a long time, I can't tell you how many times social media has given me serendipities like someone asking what to do while visiting the city I live in and I can PM them with "hey, I'll show you around."
The article, though, at least to me, seemed more like it was more about just not using the popular thing.
How's that bad? Being able to resist what's popular is a good thing too. We rely too much on following fashions and trends.
==How's that bad? Being able to resist what's popular is a good thing too. We rely too much on following fashions and trends.==
You responded with this:
==Resisting things just because the are popular is as effective as doing them just because they are.==
I am pointing out that you have no idea what the motives are and have simply assumed it is "because they are popular". Maybe the reason they want to resist what is popular is in order to spark their creativity or focus on specific niches. You are trying to make value judgements with almost no information.
If you're never going to dive deeper than that I can see where your misconceptions come from.
Sometimes the popular thing should be avoided, for very good reasons.
I'm just saying that not using social media doesn't make you "better" than anybody else.
That is literally all I am saying.
I might not respond to any more comments after this, because I'll end up repeating myself all afternoon.
That's an optimistic view to hold. If that was the case we'd pay money for the service. But we don't because that's not how social media companies make money. They make money by learning information about you by tracking who you are and what you do. That's the business model. Not making you more connected to anyone or anything. They make money by keeping you on the site as long as possible and showing you as many advertisements as possible. We can debate the efficacy of how well advertisement/political campaigns are but a corporation's job is to make money and social media's corporations incentives are clear. I'm not comfortable giving up information about myself for free, and I am not so confident that I'll make smart decisions in the face of advertisers and political activists. So I'll continue to abstain from social media. Not because I feel superior but because I fear the business incentives and I don't want to risk subjecting myself to hyper personalized advertisement campaigns.
Also it's a huge time sink, and I have the phone numbers of all the people I would ever want to contact. Calling or texting someone is a much more preferable to me, and has none of the costs of social media.
Yet I think a reasonable view to hold from the perspective of a user. I don't see how that view has anything to do with payment. The monetary value to people is not the same as the purpose something exists or is used by people. The business model of the outlets matters not to many of the users and I'd say it's not out of ignorance, it's out of apathy.
To the rest of your comment, we are basically the same person. We just need to recognize that we are neither objectively right nor are frequent social media users objectively wrong. And most importantly, we don't need to berate users of social media with our perceived righteousness (not saying you are, just concurring w/ the parent in general).
What someone thinks they're getting out of something, and what they're actually getting out of it can be very different, and when the differences are huge, the consequences can be deadly.
MLM participants THINK they're getting an independent business opportunity - and sure, that's a "reasonable view to hold from the perspective of a user" - right? They've got product, a market, a way to transact sales, a clear hierarchy to climb... But a broader perspective and closer inspection of the details reveals it is a terrible business position to be in that puts all the risk on you, the individual. But it's easy to see how someone who doesn't have the skills or training to examine such things might think the opportunity is "reasonable."
So yes, I wouldn't be surprised if most users were convinced of the utility they were getting out of their use of Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat etc... but like the person caught up in MLM, they can't see the real risks and side effects until they become overwhelming.
I don't think this elitism is the biggest reason people quit social media. Quitting social media has bigger consequences for elitist mindsets-- that is, having a social media presence involves more opportunity to curate an image that is seen by others as "elite".
This kind of thinking is also a coping mechanism. Going against common practice is isolating but if you can think of it as elevating or distinguishing then you can more easily accomplish your goals or follow through with what you're thinking and feeling on a particular issue. It's hard to quit social media, even if it's no longer benefiting you.
So, ultimately, your complaints of this kind of elitism are pointless and change nothing. They say nothing valuable about the state of the world or the state of this change.
This is a very specific use case. I doubt that "fishing girls on Facebook/Tinder" fits the need of communication with people living far away.
Some problems that we think are unique in social media exist in real life as well. The difference is about "access", which makes it scarier and more dangerous.
Back then only people with good connections were able to shape and manipulate public opinion. Now it takes a blog or a Facebook account.
I'm like full of weird analogies today, (see other posts on this thread) but, like, take the modern diet. It's not as though obesity, or diabetes, or heart failure, or whatever, never existed until now; but some things changed in how we create, package and distribute food over the past century: food processing and preservation, artificial flavors and fillers, pesticides and antibiotics, sugar... sugar EVERYWHERE. And yeah, all of these things have come with ENORMOUS benefits. But we're also starting to realize the cumulative effects these new processes are having on the public health.
We already KNOW there are massive negative side effects of Social Media use for individuals - especially with depression and bullying, and unhealthy self-image. And collectively we're starting to see the effects of such a singularly huge network with no accountability or oversight and how that can shape public opinion and knowledge. All this noise about Social Media is just us as a society trying to figure out just what to do about it all.
Your "communicate over long distances" reasoning is just additional bunk... unless of course, you consider email social media.
Defending ones position and imposing/guilting ones position are different I think.
> Your "communicate over long distances" reasoning is just additional bunk... unless of course, you consider email social media.
Why is it bunk? Why are people so quick to assume someone's true motives for using something are false even to themselves? It's ok to say you suffer from the cognitive dissonance to recognize their intentions, but you should just assume you don't know instead of calling their reasons false.
One could consider email the precursor to modern social media, and if as a medium it offered what modern social media outlets do, it would still prevail.
Now, this can be used to set your(not you but the social media user, no need to be an addict) mood and thus your emotions. This is what advertisers use to target ads or design them.
Your "intellect", in the short therm, is heavily dependent on your mood and your emotions. By "intellect", I'm referring to how you interact to the environment. (E.g. a sad person would interact with other people differently than a person that just made a million dollars).
So, if social media has such a handle on your emotions they have a handle on your intellect (its manifestations, which is the only thing other people can perceive ).
I would say "that intellect" is vulnerable. Because it is not serving your best interests. Because it's been manipulated to make you want to buy a new car, for example.
PS: I know this is controversial opinion and a lot of people will hate it. But I do believe this is the case given my current understanding of machine learning capabilities and human cognition.
Kids are always lazy. This generation always have their heads in their phones, but we had video games and before us it was TV, music, and dancing that was rotting our kids brains. There's a quote floating around on social media claiming to be from the early 1900s, complaining about how kids spend all their time reading books.
There's always the ones who were born in the wrong generation. That's a growing demographic just because there's been such a huge explosion of culture and art in the last 80 or so years. Your parents basically had 50s rock'n'roll or the free-loving 60s as their missed generations. You've got 90s rave culture, 80s punk and 70s disco as well, and all of them and more will continue to have their own subcultures for years to come. Your own kids will reminisce fondly of a time they never saw, when everybody drove their own cars which had powerful internal combustion engines and 00's indie or 10's K-pop was the pinnacle of music.
And you'll always get the ones who choose not to join in with whatever this generation's thing is. Those who didn't watch Doctor Who last night, the ones who refuse to collect stickers for the World Cup, and now those have no interest in getting Instagram followers.
One noticeable difference is that this generation are the first to see the consequences of social media. They're the first to experience facebook stalking as an everyday thing, the first to see people fired for things they did at the weekend, the first to see people having their entire life history investigated as part of a job application. Little wonder they're starting to be a little more concerned about their privacy.
Sounds to me like just another detail and if you take any generation condemning the next in that pattern you mention, you'll see they are the first to see consequences of the new thing. It's just another step in the evolution, albeit one we may not like.
Not blindly following a trend or mindlessly using (or being used by) technology is definitely a plus. The point is about reflection, being able to justify one's position.
> But you're not a special snowflake just because you don't have an app installed on your phone...
Name-calling does not much to solidify your position in this discourse, neither does over-generalization.
For all you know, people could just _want_ to use Facebook, Twitter, etc., for their own personal reasons.
Lots of people, same people who don't like being guilted by portions of society in general. The real question is, if they find it annoying, why do you care?
> What is the point of bringing up the fact that sometimes people are annoying when they make certain choices?
I thought this was clear, that it's not about making the choices, it's about imposing the choice upon you via bombardment, guilt, perceived righteousness, etc.
> How does that add to meaningful discussion, how does that even create meaningful discussion?
Surely you can understand the level at which society accepts/approves of certain actions has value? And if you do, how does one derive that level sans discussion?
Being "guilted" is not an act others do to you, it's a mind-state you inflict on yourself.
>The real question is, if they find it annoying, why do you care?
I don't care if anyone finds anything annoying. But I do care when someone waxes useless about it on a forum that is supposed to generate meaningful discussion.
>it's about imposing the choice upon you via bombardment, guilt, perceived righteousness, etc.
Again, these are all things you yourself give permission to affect you.
>Surely you can understand the level at which society accepts/approves of certain actions has value? And if you do, how does one derive that level sans discussion?
Go back and look at OP's comment, and then look at your comment that I replied to. The "point" both you and OP have made is that elitism is annoying. You gave no commentary on "the level at which society accepts/approves of certain actions". You literally only said that elitism is annoying. Might as well have said that the sky is blue.
It's also a mind-state inflicted by others on others who vote and build general sentiment towards changing laws that do affect you. General discourse and sentiment matters even if it does not matter to you. This sentiment can be based on what is annoying, what is pervasive, what is elitist, what is ok, etc. The discussion about that matters.
Someone who is not doing what everybody else is doing is just very easy to spot and piques my interest. So yes, it is a door-opener when looking for a job with some (like me). That does not mean I'd hire you - give me some nonsense justification and you're out.
This is not about judgement of specific technologies and their use, but about self reflection.
I... I dunno. I think that's what we'd all LIKE to think, and it's certainly what FB and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat all WANT you to think. And there IS some degree of "yes it does kind of do that" and certainly it's fair to say these companies probably started with that mission.... But, like, what is - truly - the primary "thing" (I'd say "value" but I don't want to imply benefit) being extracted from SM use by the vast majority of users? Is it really communication utility? Or are side-effects beginning to outweigh the original benefits?
This may be going off the rails a bit, but hear me out for a second: Let's take pharmaceutical opioids, for example. They certainly were created with the intent of improving the quality of life of individuals experiencing pain. And they certainly DO have that effect for some - even many. But there's no denying that for a huge - tragically huge - number of people, they are an addiction with often fatal consequences.
It seems to me that "Social Media" is kind of getting to be in the same boat. Like it was created for all these great reasons ("to facilitate communication online over a long-distance" as you say) but there's no denying that it is also the cause of severe problems for a LOT of people - especially young people. It IS addictive, habit-forming, depression-inducing, among other possible negative side effects. And in that sense, yes, it does need to be addressed
For example, if someone were to say "Yeah, I don't care how much pain I'm in, I'm avoiding opiate pain meds entirely because I know they can be habit-forming, and I can see what that does to people so no way am I going to risk it." you'd probably be like "sure, I get it. Pain's gonna be rough, but, yeah... there's a risk." You wouldn't say "Well don't you just think you're a special snowflake mister 'I-don't-want-to-get-addicted'...." Right? And yes, there's always some wannabe trend-followers who flaunt their life decisions to get attention, but that doesn't in any way mean there isn't a real problem to be addressed.
(I'm 28 for context). My experience with most of social media though, is that none of my friends ever seemed interested in actually socializing on there.
All I ever really saw on Facebook, for example, was re-posting memes, often political in nature. No actual conversations though.
So I wonder if that's other people's experience as well?
There are many very good reasons to dislike and avoid social media, that are not "hispterism". You banal dismissal as "they they just want to be special snowflakes" rubs me the wrong way.
"You're not a special snowflake just because you don't have an app installed on your phone"
...I think I figured out who actually has the superiority complex here.
If your reason for not using social media is concerns over privacy, then maybe you don’t fall into the above classification, and what I said doesn’t apply to you.
Either way, I wasn’t talking about privacy concerns, and you responded as if my entire comment was an attack on people with said concerns. Which it wasn’t.
Here's the people from the article:
Mary Amanuel - saw her friend obsessing over likes and thought it to be unhealthy, realized she used social media to put on a false face and stopped.
Isabelle - doesn't like how her friends engage with social media on their phones in lieu of talking to the people in front of them, prefers to spend her free time outdoors, and was disturbed by how Cambridge Analytica used social media.
Emily Sharp - saw cyber bullying and didn't want to have anything to do with it.
Jeremiah Johnson - realized he was competing for the appearance of "happiness" and decided it was unhealthy.
Tyreke Morgan - prefers to make deep connections in person over maintaining lists of hundreds of "friends".
I don't see any of them saying they feel "better" than others. You are projecting.
Ironically, your post reeks of a superiority complex found only in those that like to point out how much smarter they are than the people they are criticising because they believe they've spotted a pattern in their behaviour; and to show everyone how they didn't conform to that same behaviour.
I don't believe I'm any smarter than these people - I'm just pointing out that the article is treating them like they are smarter than everybody else.