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Social Media, Making Your Life Worse Just By Using It, And it Proves Sturgeon’s Law

June 10, 2018

I tend to notice trends early.  I quit Twitter 4 years ago as soon as work didn’t (unofficially) require it.  Almost every time I used it, the conversation degraded by the 3rd or 4th tweet into something political, followed by unsubstantiated name calling.  You have to have a thick skin and a terse personality to want to survive out there.

A few years later I tried helping a friend get on Facebook and we both decided that it was like a high school reunion, or being in high school where you make up stuff to seem like your life is better than others.  He finally told me to stop and to not put him on.  At that point it dawned on me that most of social media falls under Sturgeon’s Law:

Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything is crap.

 

There might be a corollary that 99% of social media is crap.

The trend I noticed besides people acting false was that I never felt better after being on twitter and I loathe Facebook for the same reason.  This was 5-8 years ago and now the studies are coming out proving what I noticed.

A recent article in the USA today talked about another high schoolish trend, mob mentality.

Social media also has polluted our more general life, with the ability to form online mobs increasing, as Prof. Glenn Reynolds aka Instapundit recently wrote in USA Today:

People enjoy forming mobs. Mobs allow people to do things they’d be afraid to do on their own, to steal, to hurt and kill, to burn and destroy — and also to feel set free from the bonds of civil society, to experience a kind of atavistic catharsis, a feeling of power and a solidarity with their fellow rioters, in a way that’s otherwise difficult to achieve, especially without suffering serious consequences….

But now there’s a new kind of mob, an online mob. And judging by the events of the past week, this new mob is becoming a more frequent problem. Part of that is because it’s easier (and safer) to be part of an online mob than one in the real world.

Joining a real mob requires you to leave your house, go somewhere else, and experience risks and discomforts. Joining an online mob can be done from an easy chair at home.

There are times that I post something and bizarre comments come it, so much so that I have to moderate them according to the policy on the sidebar.  Some just violate the policy too much.  It’s like twitter, if it can get political it usually does.  Since I’ve posted a lot about the military and patriotism, I caught a lot of crap.

I read a blog post by Legal Insurrection that noted the increase in suicides and the link that may exist between the two.

A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel

Social Media and Teen Depression: The Two Go Hand-In-Hand

Rise in teen suicide connected to social media popularity: study

Suicide rate’s increase can be tied to social media, technology: Dr. Marc Siegel

Using Many Social Media Platforms Linked With Depression, Anxiety Risk

Why don’t people just put it down?  It looks to be like the new next cigarette, just as addictive and equally as bad for you.

As for me, I can go about my day enjoying not getting into useless tweet storms and having my head glued to my phone.  Hell, I won’t even put Facebook on because I don’t want them in my life.

I’d like to say the higher IQ people would be immune to this, but it’s not true.  They are just as susceptible to this and it goes under things they shouldn’t do.

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