Well over a year ago I deactivated my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. The information about how Social Media was affecting its user’s had been available for some time and I couldn’t continue providing content for those platforms in good conscience. Initially the decision came with a bit of trepidation. As time passed the trepidation dissolved and the tight, uncomfortable shoes of Social Media were removed.
After a few weeks I began having a more peaceful experience with increased focus, more time spent reading, training, outdoors, practicing, writing music, and with family. It appeared that even my intentionally limited use of Social Media had a negative effect. Through a newly found objectivity, I began to develop a deeper understanding of how these platforms were affecting people. Increasingly, I noticed how much people were addicted to their phones, how they were relating to the world through the screen of their phones at work, restaurants, museums, scenic destinations and even when driving a car. Many people I’ve known for decades seemed increasingly narcissistic and hostile as they engaged in a personalized feed of subjective reality.
The news headlines are frequented by Facebook’s privacy infractions and during Google’s recent testimony before the US senate, search engine user manipulation is beginning to surface. It’s become well known that these companies are employing large teams of behavioral scientists to addict and modify the behavior of users. Numerous social media insiders and psychologists have come forth to tell us how these platforms are deleterious to our mental health. Unfortunately, the state induced by these platforms seems to be accompanied by a collective denial that these giant corporations are making tens of billions of dollars exploiting user data and engaging in insidious methods of behavior modification.
The human species is in new territory. With the needle of their moral compass fixed on profits alone, a handful of tech companies are now able to influence billions of human minds quickly, easily and voluntarily. In the year 2019 there are an alarming 3.2 billion people on planet earth voluntarily using Social Media an average of 2.5 hours per day. From the Gaming Addiction Epidemic on the Starship Enterprise to the enslavement of humanity in ‘The Matrix’, we need to pay attention to Science Fiction’s prophetic calls. To learn more about how social media is affecting people, watch these videos and take the “Red Pill”. I also highly recommend a film called ‘The Creepy Line’.
While these companies continue to claim that their platforms will always be “free”, their unethical and unsustainable advertising business model comes at a heavy cost to users. Changing the business model to subscription based, where users pay for the service, could solve many problems. By leaving social media we send a message to these companies that their business practices are unacceptable.