We owe it to ourselves to understand how social media affects our brains, our privacy and why it’s “free”.
It is difficult to participate in good conscience when these platforms are causing users:
- Behavior Modification
- Addiction and Over Engagement
- Amplified Negativity
- Fragmented Attention
- Loss of Healthy Social Skills
- Psychological Problems
- Political, Racial and Ideological division
- Loss of Privacy
Social media isn’t free, it uses an insidious advertising business model instead of a more honest subscription business model. Your personal data and attention is being sold to advertisers (social media’s actual customer) – you aren’t the customer, you are the product. The profiteering tactics of behavior modification, addiction, keeping us over engaged and selling our personal information, are not good for us. The end result is addiction and a descent into negativity with attention taken away from working on our craft, and spending quality time with our loved ones. People who are using these platforms for communication and staying misinformed should strongly consider more healthy and productive alternatives.
I highly recommend the following YouTube videos on the subject of social media, ethical technology and the attention economy:
YouTube has many ethical issues as well, but until I can host my own content, here are some of the reasons I will use YouTube:
- Users have the option to use the ad-free YouTube premium service.
- The audio and video quality is excellent.
- Engagement in the music is superior.
- Revenue is shared with content providers.
- There are minimal disruptive notifications.
- Suggested videos tend to be very relevant.