Addiction connects with me in so many ways. Whether it’s my addictions to booze and weed, the addiction of free software and social media, to drug addiction, to porn, to our addiction of consumption.
As far as tech goes, I think we have to disconnect from social as it is today and start paying for software. I’m not suggesting to quit sharing with each other. No, absolutely not. Sharing with each other is great, it was great in 1989, when I first started to use the Internet.
What I’m saying is that we need to change the environment in which we share in. We need new apps, we need a reboot.
Power is never ceded until there’s demand. We need to reclaim our digital lives as our own, not the property of Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and the rest.
I feel that the only way this will happen is if we unplug from social, then share why we’re doing so. Because when we share entrepreneurs will see there’s a demand for something new. But as of now, entrepreneurs aren’t going to create another way to share, because they know everyone is addicted to social.
I was early with tech. I started my first app in 1989. In 1993 I found Howard Rheingold’s book, The Virtual Community. Here’s a few quotes from Howard:
“What we need badly right now is a way for more and more people to see, understand, and decide collectively, through our discussions and our buying and voting decisions, exactly which trade-offs we are willing to make in return for technological conveniences”.
By Howard Rheingold
Excerpted from The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog (HarperSanfrancisco, 1994)
“Use all the communication tools available to your community: private electronic mail for one-to-one communications and for making arrangements to meet people face-to-face, public computer conferences for one-to-many questions and discussions, planfiles and biographies (your own and others) can help you and your community discover what kind of person you are and where your interests lie; and don’t forget that telephones and face to face meetings are still appropriate ways to cement and extend the friendships you make online”.
COPYRIGHT 1987 Point Foundation
Virtual communities – exchanging ideas through computer bulletin boards
By Howard Rheingold, UC Berkeley, Stanford
This is an essay originally published in Whole Earth Review, Winter, 1987
“But neither Philscat (a WELL user) nor I need experimental evidence to prove that the beating heart of community can thrive among people connected by keyboards and screens as well as those conducted over back fences and neighborhood encounters”.
July 2012 piece in the Atlantic
John Parry Barlow, lyricist for the Grateful Dead said it well (pun intended), too in this interview:
“Facebook is like television, the opposite of what I was looking for,” he grumbled. “It’s the suburbs, not the global village.”
John Perry Barlow seemed disappointed by today’s social networks, and in particular the one that has really taken the online experience to the masses.
In 1994 people like Howard and myself were thinking about the tradeoffs we were going to make for technology. I say we’ve traded privacy and therefore our freedom. I say tech is all about consumption. Because just about every website is driven by advertising. We now live in a world of share this — now. Post a review — now. Click here — now.
Something else that’s happened is how the platform of social has skewered our definition of notoriety – who is and what is important. Now, tech companies have led us to believe that likes and views are a direct correlation to value. I couldn’t disagree more. Here’s a quote from Don Henley:
“Fame, at one time, was associated with accomplishment, but in this day and age fame and notoriety have become confused. A lot of people who we call famous, should not be famous. They should be notorious because if you can build a multi-million-dollar empire just by taking your clothes off and going on the Internet, there’s something very wrong with our values”.
– Don Henley
Rolling Stone interview
Don Henley on ‘Sloppy’ Songwriting, National Values and Cultural Decay