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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.

WHAT FACEBOOK KNOWS AND IT ISN’T TELLING YOU

It preys on Women’s emotions and other mind altering and interfering techniques and the company KNOWS THAT IT IS DOING IT.

Even former Facebook President Sean Parker realizes the pitfalls of Facebook:

The former Facebook President discussed the company’s initial aim, which was mainly centered around drawing in and building their audience:

The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.

Parker described Facebook’s appeal as a “social-validation feedback loop” which exploits human psychology to keep users coming back to the app:

It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.

Comments such as this from Facebook former President, combined with Facebook’s mishandling of user data, has led to a greater level of distrust around the company. What was previously seen as just a website by many users was becoming better known as a data collection company.

When the name of the article is Facebook was designed to exploit human vulnerability, there is a big problem.

THE CESSPOOL OF HATE AND DISCRIMINATION BY TWITTER

Just say something, anything and pretty soon it can turn into a hate storm if you offend someone or anyone.  I saw someone post here’s a picture of a rock, let the arguing begin just to prove it and it did.

Now, it looks like Twitter the company is shadow banning users and groups of users just because someone complained that they don’t like the person’s views, even if they aren’t a follower.

When I check I often find that a user who has blocked me is someone I have never interacted with. So why the block? Often, it’s due to being on a block list created by a liberal activist group. Twitter supports block lists and makes it easy for users to mass-block entire universes of people they don’t even know.

But Twitter now uses factors such as the number of people who have blocked an account to determine whether to classify it as “low quality” content. The company also uses the number of complaints or reports on the account. If the number of these exceeds certain thresholds, an account can be deemed low quality and access to tweets from that user are severely diminished.

I couldn’t wait to leave that platform of time-wasting and hate and my life is better because of it.

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