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This is not surprising. There are many serious people worried about the mental health aspects of being on social media for extended periods of time. As with most things in life, moderation is key. They can be useful services as long as they do not consume you.

The key point here though is that they are explicitly designed to consume you. Notification patterns, feed organization, how the online connection between two people is displayed, what gamification factors as included, what metrics are included on each "post/event", the list goes on. In reality only a small portion of people have the knowledge and skills to actively fight against these designs, and that mental power has a cost. This is why both of these platforms at their core start from a bad seed, even if they are able to birth positive things.

IMO there are many solutions, but two very basic things can fix these problems:

- Make users pay to use a service so it is ad-free or ad limited so that there is not an incentive to hold a user on your platform as long as possible

- Remove public facing metrics such as likes/views unless absolutely necessary. When necessary, make them a harder UX to get to so that someone without the need cannot easily access them.

People keep saying the model won't work, but when you look at ARPU for many of these services, many people would gladly pay that. People always frame it at replacing ads, but I think it's much more than that - it's making the experience of using the platform itself better by removing a lot of the incentives that cause bad mental issues with social media.

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