What is social media doing to the human brain?
Is social media “eroding,” “ripping apart,” or changing society?
democracy, capitalism, the American Dream?
Is the erosion, tearing, or changing (pick whichever word feels most comfortable to you) indicative of mentally atypical behavior?
gifts labeled as disorders?
Are we rapidly evolving to deal with technology, and our social fabric is shuddered by this rapid evolution?—or are we damaging the integral evolutionary network that nature has gifted us over billions of years?
Do we have to rapidly evolve in order to survive this climate?
Do we, by nature, break apart nature?
Regardless, we have to ask:
How do we live in a world where this is now possible?
Look, I think, so in the case of Facebook specifically, I think they have done more than any other company, quite honestly, to try to fix it, because of all of the companies—and I’ve seen them all up close—they’re the most, (frankly, to be blunt and honest,) the most technically sophisticated.
We all have never taken a step back, and actually asked ourselves, “How should we be interacting with these things now?”—seven years into it?
And what should we be expecting of the Internet at large?
Look, the reality may be, the entire business model of the Internet, may be fundamentally somewhat broken. Because we allow ourselves to get interacted with in ways where we necessarily don’t control the medium or the messages.
…we could actually divorce ourselves…
I don’t think we can divorce ourselves from this, though; at least, not by “going back.” The Achilles’ heel lies in society’s desire to “go back.” We’ve passed a threshold, and like in any story with a noble-hearted but reluctant hero, we’re fighting against the currents we’ve set forth.
But that’s the root of the argument, isn’t it?
If we’ve passed the event horizon, if Moore’s Law is true, if the job market is a fad?
I deeply respect the rest of the discussion in the YouTube video, the way it’s possible to respect and admire an intellectual argument that doesn’t necessarily plug into the way your consciousness perceives the world.
And I think at the center of this desire to instill government control over the flood of technology—and this opposite desire to let technology destroy the dams and walls of government—we can find a common and more reasonable ground.
In the meantime, we need to see how technology is speeding up, up, up;
We need to prepare for where we’re speeding towards,—even if we can’t see it yet; even we can’t agree upon where we’re headed;
And since creativity, innovation, and progression has been celebrated by anthropologists, educators, historians—and every other field that looks at Homo sapien at different angles, seeing what makes us tick—shouldn’t creativity, innovation, and progression be the game plan?
That’s why I like WordPress. It’s a safe space (as safe as the Internet goes) to offer your take on an intellectual discussion. It’s extraordinarily liberating for someone who has a difficult time speaking due to social anxiety about being steamrolled by bulls, bulldozers, or fight-flight responses. It’s a publication model for writers who have ideas, and writers have always had ideas, but they haven’t always had such enabling publication models.
The enabler of watching any and everything.
At some core basic level, we have to start talking about this stuff.
How should our kids… Why is anxiety and depression among our teenagers higher than they’ve ever been? In a world that’s safer, in a world that’s more constructive, in a world where you should have access to everything, what is going on?—and we just have to figure this stuff out and talk about it.
I check my screen a lot in the office, and even now, I’ve even morphed my behavior… what I do, when I come into the office, I actually put it face down…
I put my phone face down most of the day, too. Since I work mostly at home, I imagine this is exceptionally frustrating to some people. But I’ve found it vastly improves my concentration if only check my cellphone once an hour.
As much as I adore the small conversations I have with other thinkers on Twitter, there’s this expectation to be on top of notifications—to try to control the current and flow, instead of letting your thoughts go, so you can just accept the ripples and waves they make beyond you—and this need to control more reality than what exists in the present moment, here at your feet… this is damaging to the mind.
When we plug in to access a larger society, a larger narrative, and a larger discussion, we need to also remember that, for our brains to return to the mind-body-spirit, we must unplug. The Internet is incredibly taxing on our intellect. We must extend this kindness to ourselves and to others to prevent ourselves from exacerbating negative effects.
Maybe not all of us.
This is just how I’ve chosen to surrender to the flow of things.
In response to the reporter’s comment on, “You can just turn the notifications off,” this is acceptable from people who are decidedly non-tech—like, if your friends and family know you need help hooking up Netflix and Hulu, they also know you may have a healthy aversion to cellphones—but most of us aren’t as resilient when it comes to carrying around a social slot machine in our pocket. And if we are resilient, our bosses judge us for not responding to text messages and e-mails fast enough.
Would you like addiction or depression with your coffee cake and tea?
For a Millennial—especially, if you choose to engage in intellectual decision on social media—if you unplug for 24 hours, people will think you died. Or you’ll plug back in after 24 hours and wonder why this time, (unlike last time,) nobody noticed you died. Two sides of the same coin, anxiety and depression caught in a loop.
Also, when you unplug, you miss entire 6-hour-long trends, and that puts you at a disadvantage in “real world” conversations. I am the troll under a bridge, the fairy under a rock, a Homo Sapien under our awesome fiery ball of a sun.
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