Can We Just Ignore the Flaming Dumpster?

Vox’s Carlos Maza had a great piece called “Why every social media site is a dumpster fire.” He hit all the usual notes- Russian trolls, misogynists, and conspiracy theorists. But he also hit on something bigger- the social media dumpster fire is not an accident or something that got out of control. What we have now is an intentional, man-made disaster. The fire was set on purpose and investors poured on the gasoline. As Maza says,The problem with these social media sites isn’t that a few bad apples are ruining the fun. It’s that they’re designed to reward bad apples.Even Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook says, “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.” Parker is probably giving himself too much credit as an evil genius, but it’s obvious that when Facebook exploded, he and his colleagues were more than happy to fuel the conflagration. Breaking Up With Social Media  We certainly weren’t the first to warn people that its time to turn off social media. If you watched HBO’s new documentary Swiped, the film made the case that the gamification of social apps is breaking human relations. It’s a terrifying a portrait of a generation addicted to social apps.We all know social media is manipulating us. Let’s stop taking this stuff seriously. It’s not real. If something makes you angry, wait and read next-day’s take. Don’t react with a smiley face or frowny face. Think about stuff.  Can you even remember what social media outrage fest was consuming all of your mental energy last week? Human nature can be nasty and ugly, but we don’t have to let the social media platforms profit from it. 

Can We Just Ignore the Flaming Dumpster?

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Vox’s Carlos Maza had a great piece called “Why every social media site is a dumpster fire.” He hit all the usual notes- Russian trolls, misogynists, and conspiracy theorists. 

But he also hit on something bigger- the social media dumpster fire is not an accident or something that got out of control. What we have now is an intentional, man-made disaster. The fire was set on purpose and investors poured on the gasoline. As Maza says,

The problem with these social media sites isn’t that a few bad apples are ruining the fun. It’s that they’re designed to reward bad apples.

Even Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook says, “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.”

Parker is probably giving himself too much credit as an evil genius, but it’s obvious that when Facebook exploded, he and his colleagues were more than happy to fuel the conflagration. 

Breaking Up With Social Media 

We certainly weren’t the first to warn people that its time to turn off social media. If you watched HBO’s new documentary Swiped, the film made the case that the gamification of social apps is breaking human relations. It’s a terrifying a portrait of a generation addicted to social apps.

We all know social media is manipulating us. Let’s stop taking this stuff seriously. It’s not real. If something makes you angry, wait and read next-day’s take. Don’t react with a smiley face or frowny face. Think about stuff.  Can you even remember what social media outrage fest was consuming all of your mental energy last week? Human nature can be nasty and ugly, but we don’t have to let the social media platforms profit from it.