I’ve said that social media is a social disease for years. Now it’s time to tell you the cure.
Everyone should read this book:
The Shallows – What The Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr.
Go to your bookstore and buy it. But if they won’t offer you a price that’s close to Amazon, buy from Amazon. But before you give up on your bookstore, tell them where you’re at. Tell them you’re happy to buy from them, even pay a couple bucks more than Amazon. But they’ve got to do their part. Here’s the Amazon link:
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Everyone needs to pay for a subscription to a news site. The New York Times is doing great work. Democracy Now! is great. But the key here, is paying for information. Because unless we start paying, journalism will die. If journalism dies, our Republic is at risk.
Get off of Facebook and social media.
Here’s a great NYT piece from today, covering Facebook’s role in the election. Did Facebook influence our election? Did your crazy uncle send you a Facebook link? Did you watch a live Facebook stream? Are you on Facebook? Yes, Facebook influenced the Presidential election.
Facebook, in Cross Hairs After Election, Is Said to Question Its Influence
Lies in the Guise of News in the Trump Era
One more. A couple days before the election Trump supporters were all over social media claiming that Michael Moore was supporting Trump. Then alt-right websites jumped in and fueled the fire. It was a lie. Moore wasn’t supporting Trump. The right doctored a clip from Moore’s film TrumpLand. They doctored the clip, cut the clip off to make it look like Moore was backing Trump. Lies.
Here’s a link to YouTube for a search of “moore endorses trump”
Now watch this interview with Moore on Democracy Now! the day before the election
The doctored clip got millions of hits. All because of a lie. Did it influence the election? How could it not have.
Facebook sucks. So does Twitter, so does spending any time on social media sites. Or for that matter, trying to find truth by Googling.
Here’s what’s happened to the Internet. There is no truth. Because for every link I find in Google to present my case, you can find just as many to present yours.
Read The Shallows. Then buy another book and read it. Then another, and another. Read a new book once a week. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Your brain has atrophied. The good news is that it’s a muscle, you can make it stronger. But only if you exercise it daily. Scanning websites, spending time on Facebook, social, it’s making your brain weaker. If you keep it up, the computer will take over your mind – if it hasn’t already. It’s making our country weaker.
Let me lay this one on you. Nicholas writes how we’ve outsourced memory to Google. Meaning, we no longer rely on our brain for memory. We rely on Google to remember stuff for us. Keep it up, the machines will rule our lives.
Instead of chatting online, relying on email, go have a conversation with someone — anyone. In person. Go see them, do whatever it takes. Or call them.
When you’re in a coffee shop, the airport, getting your car fixed, standing in line, leave your phone in your pocket. Instead look around, strike up a conversation with the person next to you.
Quit taking selfies. Instead, ask someone to take a picture for you.
I know, breaking these terrible habits we’ve formed is hard. It’s been hard for me. Not quite as hard as quitting booze and drugs, but hard. I’m here to help if you need me. Call me.
James Blackwell says
The irony of reading this message on a blog, leveraging an open source CMS that is widely used for social marketing, is not lost on me :)
I got “The Shallows” and it sat on my nightstand… I’m getting it from the library again and will read it over Thanksgiving!!! You read “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger yet? Take it one step further and read “Sapiens” by Harari.
One of the great conversations and lessons on privacy in the digital age, I had from you on our way back from Telluride. In that vein, check this out: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/business/cellphone-number-social-security-number-10-digit-key-code-to-private-life.html
I’ve paid for the NYT since we went to see Page One in the theater. And trust: I WILL call you to further discuss this, and more… because while Facebook and other social sites have become a tremendous waste of time – and source of disinformation – the channel of communication they provide has proven vital for reaching people of like minds as well. A lot of good has come from them; just not sure the juice is worth the squeeze.
It all comes down to education. Many have the expectation that Facebook and Twitter are agnostic because they’re driven by algorithms. Couldn’t be further from the truth: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/03/technology/how-the-internet-is-loosening-our-grip-on-the-truth.html
Much love, mi hermano…
I know that my post is incendiary. I do that on purpose. I know that the 4 other people who do read what I say are going to defend social, not listen.
People were sharing files and thoughts long before social media came along. They were ‘doin it on the WELL, the Pipeline, Compuserve and on bulletin boards in people’s closets.
I was on the WELL, I was one of the 1st Pipeline users, I had 5 digit Compuserve account, and I helped my friend Ted Larson carry 286 computers up the stairs to setup BBS’s. Ted and his partner Ramone Martin founded TeleDate, the first telephone dating system anywhere.
The difference between then and today’s social media is greed and guile. In fact the entire system is built on greed and guile. It’s a cesspool. For the 3 things good about social media there’s 100 more that are wreaking havoc on our society. Yeah sure, I’d love to have a cigarette after sex. Only problem is, I’d get cancer.
What needs to happen is not, I repeat not, for the idea of sharing using a digital connection to go away. No. I’m many things, but I’m not a Troglodyte or a Luddite. But people need to leave the cesspool and quit supporting it in any way. Because it’s the people, who have the power. Boy do they.
When this happens young engineers and those in Silicon Valley will see the need for a replacement. A better Internet.
What needs to happen is that pods need to form. Similar to what Howard Rheingold wrote about in The Virtual Community. They’d be interconnected by yes, the same code used for this blog. Good and simple PHP.
Now the people, not that fuck face Zuckerberg or his cronies down the street would be in charge. Now, we’d have the Internet those of early guys helped build, and that we long for.
You and I can disagree. But if you keep logging onto these sites you’re doing way more harm than good. You’re helping to kill jobs, you’re taking the Internet back to the AOL model.
Oh. I’m almost finished with The Blue Zones Solution. When I am, in a day or two, The Tribe is next.
You’d know this if you’d have paid attention to my post. Look at the picture in my post. Your book is at the top of the stack, next up to be read.
But you’re not paying attention. The reason why is because you scan, you don’t read. You’ve lost the ability to concentrate. Good news is that you can get it back. But not until you abandon the bad habits you’ve formed and that social media was a welcome accomplice to.
Read The Shallows. Scanning does in fact allow you take in more information. But it doesn’t improve brain power. Read The Shallows.
James Blackwell says
Wait, I thought “F*ckface” was the president-elect’s… Maybe “Punk Suckerberg” would be a better nickname?
I didn’t zoom in close enough on the photo :)
I read the blog when I can… but I don’t catch everything/ I’m doing the best I can to filter the noise. And man, my children make a LOT of noise! Shout out to Justin!!!
Also – the response I wanted to elicit is the one you gave: the details. You’ve been here before. You seen it go wrong. You know how it happens. Let the people know!
I really need to read Thomas Frank’s book too… Just put it on hold @ the library.
Punk Suckerberg it is.
We always get there!
Here’s another piece from today shining a light on Facebook’s influence over how we think and vote. It points out how Facebook uses its users to conduct tests.
The answer isn’t fix Facebook. It’s turn it off.
Where are the young people who’ll show up and build a better Internet? The one we have sucks.
Two more pieces from the Times:
Two more pieces:
Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.
I Used to Be a Human Being
The first piece backs up what I’ve thought for years. That a business shouldn’t be focused on clicks, likes and shares. I’ve thought for years that all that jazz had no value, here’s my post about it:
You wanna build a great business, brand or career? Quit following the herd and buying into the lie that social media is your darling. Instead, take all that money and time you dedicated to social media and put it to this thought: It’s your customers, who’re your best sales people. Rephrased, take Steve Martin’s advice: “Be so good they can’t ignore you”. Do it all day, every day, you’ll be successful. I promise you.
Andrew Sullivan’s piece is about addiction and what Nicholas Carr writes about in the The Shallows – What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains Thank you Andrew, for such great writing. I’ve always been a fan of Andrew’s.
Facebook will be issuing all kinds of mea culpa’s now regarding the fake news fiasco. They’re going to tell you, “no worries, we got it. Stay on Facebook, we got your back”. It’s all bullshit. Social media is a social disease. Facebook, Twitter and the rest are all wrong because they weren’t designed for customers. No. They were designed for data mining — grab all the data they can about a user then sell it to anyone who’ll pay. They were designed for advertisers. Remember. When you’re on social you’re the product being sold. Walk away, folks. While you’re at it tell ’em to fuck off.
Young people. You can build a better Internet. Look at what we did with zeldaB. We were right. Imagine a place to share files and chat. Without advertisers, where data mining is not allowed. A place that’s private. That’s what zeldaB was. Folks. Is it worth $5 bucks a month to have something great, something you’re proud of? Something that’s run for you, by people with integrity, with plans for the next 100 years? Who aren’t going to take VC money, who’ll never sell. Yes, it is.
Young people. There’s a need, there’s a burning problem to solve. Call me, I got some advise for you.
Social media is a giant waste of time it just might be the thing bringing us together