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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks who worry the race for human attention has created a world of perpetual distraction that could ultimately end in disaster."

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia

The Guardian's leftist leanings aside, can you relate? Do you find it hard to disconnect from your online social reward loops?
 

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I'm addicted and miserable but in too deep to change.

When I got my first laptop in high school, I used it for homework only. This lasted a week. Now, 10 years later, I sleep with it under my bed and go on it to check all social media as soon as I open my eyes.

I have low self esteem and social anxiety, so I want validation and I also really want connection that isn't tainted by the stress of dealing with someone face-to-face, so social media gives me both these things. There are no awkward silences. No poorly expressed thoughts. No time-consuming, energy-sapping 3-hours-long (minimum!) hang-outs. We say exactly what we mean to, whenever convenient for us, then move on with our day.

I do waste tons of time on Facebook, though, and I hate that. I also wish I didn't have such a strong urge to be on the computer every waking moment. When I'm out and about, I'm fine. But when I'm home, the laptop calls. And it sucks because I used to read a lot and now I barely read at all. I love fantasy and I have a big ol' fantasy book right here beside me which I'm making no progress on because I'd rather be on the internet, doing pointless crap.

This is a terrible post.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@Daiz

Thanks. I can imagine Fe being a poor match for this kind of technology.

I decided to post this because I personally fail to relate to the underlying problem, i.e. wanting to connect and share with others. If I cannot do so anonymously and ideally with just one person at a time, with plenty of time and minds that are able to penetrate to a significant depth, I do not find it attractive at all.

I have hence never used Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Facebook or any group IM. I simply do not feel the attraction. If I am not connecting with a single intelligent mind capable of expanding my thinking on something I am currently working on, I am not interested in connecting online at all. I am slightly more interested in connecting offline, for other purposes.
 

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"Prepare for Unforeseen Consequences." ~The G-Man, Half-Life 2: Episode Two
 
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Interesting topic @Acataleptic

Cant't relate to this particular dependency at all. Also have never used FB, twitter, Snapchat, .... and never will. Have used Reddit, but only to ask/research technical questions about how to do something. Smartphone is for emergencies and used as a radio while doing chores. Even on perc it's more of a dropping in and out. Social media addiction (as in getting 'hits' from likes) is only a subset of a larger dependency. There is an expectation for instantaneous relevant info. There are important reference manuals for which there are none or no recent physical books (the Linux distro I use for example). There are occupations that depend on the internet plus a social media presence (podcasters, Twitch streamers). Then there are articles such as the one linked which would never be presented in depth in any other medium. Etc.... Definitely fit into that broader category of dependency for information gathering.
 

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Not really, no. PerC is basically the only social platform I'm "active" on.

Otherwise the whole social media thing doesn't do anything for me at all.
Yeah this is me too, though I do like Pinterest as far as just collecting ideas/images (I think technically it counts as social media?). If anything, it annoys me that I can't completely disable its notifications because I literally don't care that strangers save the things I have saved from other strangers.

I think that this attention, especially for younger people growing up with it, translates to status/importance/sense of self-worth or significance. To me, these aren't things that strangers are qualified to assess. I don't like the idea of people watching me - it feels voyeuristic. I don't really feel like putting much effort into the minutae of other people's days, especially casual acquaintances. I don't want what others have. I also recognize that most of it is an illusion - like a lifestyle resume. I really just don't see the point.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Interesting topic @Acataleptic

Cant't relate to this particular dependency at all. Also have never used FB, twitter, Snapchat, .... and never will. Have used Reddit, but only to ask/research technical questions about how to do something. Smartphone is for emergencies and used as a radio while doing chores. Even on perc it's more of a dropping in and out. Social media addiction (as in getting 'hits' from likes) is only a subset of a larger dependency. There is an expectation for instantaneous relevant info. There are important reference manuals for which there are none or no recent physical books (the Linux distro I use for example). There are occupations that depend on the internet plus a social media presence (podcasters, Twitch streamers). Then there are articles such as the one linked which would never be presented in depth in any other medium. Etc.... Definitely fit into that broader category of dependency for information gathering.
Information is different. I do have a tendency to spend inordinate amounts of time researching some obscure topic or other, but frankly that was no different before the internet. Back then, I would spend all that time reading offline instead of online. It is not social, and I am not sure it is addictive either - though I do hate the idea of not being able to research something or someone I am currently interested in. But I do not think it is even remotely related to the kind of addiction people seem to develop for social media kicks. I do appreciate honest appreciation, but only from people whose opinions I truly value after getting to know them well. Not random strangers.

Ha, just saw this on Facebook:
Ha. I have had it happen to me twice now that someone I depend on for some transaction or other - a potential landlord, or a buyer for example - asks to connect on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram so we can "get to know each other a little". While they have been surprised that I have never had a social media presence, it has not been a problem. Whether it is white privilege, my zen demeanour or something else, things tend to work out for me face to face. As for business, I have sought and found a niche where there is no networking, only solo ventures.

I would hate to live in a world where you must be on social media to secure rental contracts, for example.
 

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Information is different. I do have a tendency to spend inordinate amounts of time researching some obscure topic or other, but frankly that was no different before the internet. Back then, I would spend all that time reading offline instead of online. It is not social, and I am not sure it is addictive either - though I do hate the idea of not being able to research something or someone I am currently interested in. But I do not think it is even remotely related to the kind of addiction people seem to develop for social media kicks. I do appreciate honest appreciation, but only from people whose opinions I truly value after getting to know them well. Not random strangers.
It is, and I agree it is not the same as a SM addiction. On the other hand, less critical minds can delude themselves into thinking they 'know everything' about a topic because they did some cursory research online. In the same way that 'like hits' feed the delusion that they are genuinely appreciated. Anyway, your post reminded me of dependency in general, and the fact that I'm not totally comfortable with some needed materials being accessable only online. I've entertained the idea of copying things off to my server, but it would be a daunting task to begin and keep a digital library up to date.
 

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There's much to write/type/say about it, but I'm not capable of doing that. (Time, language, value. I'll try to write my general attitude towards tech, internet and /smart/phones anyway.)

In general, we own our brains/minds. We have a responsibility towards them. That means we should know how to keep them safe. Control everything which gets into them or plays them.

Everything has better and worse use. We can use a stone to stab a person, or to light a fire and get warm. We can use eggs to throw them at people, or to make food. We can use a gun to defend ourselves, or to hurt others. We can use chemicals to create a bomb or to create a cure.
But the difference between these and smartphones is that when you buy a smartphone, you think: "I'm buying it because it has many uses."

You see, the main problem is when you let yourself pace into the unknown. When I use tech, I define very well *why* I do that. Before I open my smartphone, I know what I'm about to do. Maybe to send a message, maybe get some knowledge. Navigate. Be updated. (I use everything and do almost everything with a reason.)
The second problem is the time. Let's say Max (fictional) has defined to use his smartphone to play, for now. Max won't play all night, will he? Ah...
Max isn't aware of how much time it takes. But Max can be.
I have FB, Linkedin, Instagram, SC, Telegram, Whatsapp, Pinterest (Art makes me peaceful...). Everything has its defined use and time.
I am responsible for everything I do. Everything which gets into my mind. So I act like I am. Folks who have forgotten their responsibility, get addicted more easily. They aren't 100% aware of their mind's needs anyway, so tech takes responsibility. (Kinda)

I can relate that it's hard to disconnect if I'm connected. I'm not perfect though. I, too, sometimes use the internet more than expected. But I can take a month off. I'm not addicted. (Why don't I? cause I still know the tech's value. I won't send letters with birds.)
So I "just" manage myself very carefully. About everything. I never use my smartphone while eating, also.

But tech is a problem. If you don't want something to be hijacked, keep it close. It's hard, but hard isn't a problem.
 

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There's a good and bad to social media. While the addiction part is bad, I do like having the Internet before me since it allows me to connect with like-minded people.

For example, I love buying historical memorabilia, but I'm not really an expert on such topics. Of course, historical memorabilia can be faked due to its popularity. I am thus a member of some militaria forums in order to consult experts about certain pieces I think about buying. Those consultations have been helpful since they have not only taught me more about the history of some objects, but also helped me avoid buying fakes of more well-known pieces of militaria.
 
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How do people get obese? Just stop eating
How do people drown? Just drink the water
How do people get addicted to technology? Just push the off button

one of these three is an outlier
 

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I noticed how social media was running my life and time that I rarely had any time for research and other things. I got rid of most of them and occasionally will pop on FB. But usually, it is full of irrelevant and ignorant opinions and memes. When I go look it up not only do I realize the source is fallible, but so is everything else. I ended up losing a lot of friends that way, which I just rarely respond unless it really, really, really annoys me. I think the average time now is 5-10 hours a week in forums vs. 3 hours a week on Facebook.
 

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Thank you for this thread! It's quite interesting to find a group of 'minorities' talking about it.

I only say that because I don't use any social media. But a lot of them asked me how I survive. I am in the generation where it is more common to have 2-3 social media accounts, and I have done so myself. However, one day I was looking at the screen, staring at all of the 'like's and comments and could not stop myself from asking the philosophical question, "What does this all mean?"

I think it is a weird realm. However, not very different from the world we live in. A lot of social climbers and attention-whores... I just didn't want to do it anymore. But it does keep me from a lot of surface interaction and get a lot of questions when I am surrounded by a group of people. I mean, I personally do not care for those interactions, but I end up wasting a lot more words then I would like sometimes.
 
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Could be worse. You could be yearning desperately for a Google earbud natural language "translator."

The stupidest idea I have ever heard, and the execution is guaranteed to be laughable, incompetent, and the product of neurodevelopmentally-disabled minds. Not meant to be cruel: I applaud many of them who have overcome their handicaps and learned to communicate, at least in a rudimentary fashion, and to lead productive lives as technicians.

Could also be worse: you could be a gadget freak on a scale much worse than using a TardPhone.

Meh, if you felt like spending some (or possibly a bunch) of time you could write some little browser script that limits your access time to certain some sites.

I prefer the old-fashioned rubber-band around the penis -- a few good snaps every time I want to look at Facebook, and I'm off to INTJ.
 

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anyone read the actual article? two quotes stood out from it for me. i'm just gonna leave them here, probably, and then come back later on.

"“It’s changing our democracy, and it’s changing our ability to have the conversations and relationships that we want with each other.”
this. yeah? no? thoughts? about social media, my cranky-old-fart take would be that it is, precisely, 'allowing' us to have the conversations and relationships that we want with each other - and that's the problem. insert all the usual stuff about grooming and airbrushing and the ability to cherry-pick not only what you put out there but what you have to confront in the reactions you get in return.

when i discovered the internet with its message boards and listservs, i felt that it had the opposite effect. @Daiz put it really nicely. being at a remove allowed for a level of courage and social risk-taking that can be hard when you're young and it's all face-to-face. people can't override or drown out a soft-spoken person online, to take one really simple instance. a big voicebox is not an advantage online.

so that allowed for more depth; it allowed me time to think and to come back to something and keep exploring it. it let me go into places in my own mind that in-the-moment social interaction did not allow for. and pardon the touchy-feely terminology, but i still think it allowed me to grow. i can say all this here, for instance, without having to monitor the expressions and body language, plan my timing, place my voice, orchestrate anything so as to try and make sure that my message gets completed before someone talks.

and this one:

"
All of which, Williams says, is not only distorting the way we view politics but, over time, may be changing the way we think, making us less rational and more impulsive. “We’ve habituated ourselves into a perpetual cognitive style of outrage, by internalising the dynamics of the medium,” he says.
okay, so the tough-love question here is: how much serious thought has gone into people's replies? not to put anyone on the spot, but the replies so far seem to be more reactive than reflective, overall. i like perc and spend just as much time here as most people probably do on sm, but i have this inherent frustration with things that aren't 'depth'. idk how much of that is just me being so much older than so many people; it's a fact that what you think deep tends to adjust as you accumulate equity on the been-there-thought-that pile in your mind.
i don't think the addiction to outrage and facile 'depth' is new, to tell you the truth. i think it's a thing that has always been there. which doesn't make it okay that that vein has been so deeply tapped by sm in the last 15 years.

and i guess this one as well.

If the attention economy erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves
this one i'd love to talk about. i've always been frustrated by the shortness of people's attention spans and the non-depth in their lines of recall.

edit aaannnnddd so much for the deep and reflective etc.

i just came back here to rave about something not-different. how the hell can there be a '10 best post offices in [city i'm in]'? there fucking isn't. there's canada post, there are branches of it, and there is a fucking main depot somewhere that i'm trying to find for a concrete reason, and which is the only damn thing that i care about.

this intrusive yelp stuff that intercepts your search and inserts some pre-fab pre-paid-for list of other places gives me the genuine rage. this isn't just trivia to me. it's active material interference in people trying to get something actually done.
 

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Ray Bradbury has been proven to be quite the visionary here; he predicted back in 1953 that the advance of technology would lead to people being deluded by meaningless drivel. It's not just social media too; you have clickbait and games that are psychologically manipulating us to waste our time and brainspace through providing empty goals. The gratification of getting likes can make you imagine your content was better than it actually was; I like how on PerC people are relatively reserved with using this function.

On the subway, you can see people around playing on their phones. I was struck by the realization of how pointless that all is, and was persuaded to start reading books on my subway ride. I decided that I needed to do something that would enable me to grow as a person, and not just delude myself in a drugged contentedness like everyone else.

The internet has definitely brought us much good, but it has also brought us much ill. In balance I am glad it exists, but the problems stemming from addiction (and not only to social media) have not been given nearly enough attention in the public sphere.
 

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I felt shamed by not having read the article. I didn't find it particularly left-leaning, pace the OP, but here are two extracts I found amusing.

There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.”
That may be so. I appreciate the invocation of the new phlogiston, namely a dulled, uninterpreted, probably misunderstood idea of what fMRI and PET are and aren't capable of revealing.

I'm sure there's some context to this extract from some guy's conversation, but as reported, I don't find anything commented or revealed that isn't trivial.

It takes years of practice, I think, for most people, to learn to sit for ten or twelve hours reading and writing. To such an extent that, I suspect, many who bothered to acquire the ability are, like me, modifying their practice to include frequent changes of activity, increased discretization of material studied. And, yes, in part encouraged by some reports of better performance, retention, and results of all kind provided by psychology in its current form, where material structures of the brain are taken seriously.

[James Williams -- not the pianist, but a technician who did some work for Google] says his epiphany came a few years ago, when he noticed he was surrounded by technology that was inhibiting him from concentrating on the things he wanted to focus on. 'It was that kind of individual, existential realisation: what’s going on?' he says. 'Isn’t technology supposed to be doing the complete opposite of this?'"
I think that's the real take-away from the article, namely that, whatever the technology (written information, mechanical gadgets, telephones, graphical user interfaces), people are using it wrong.

And that some random gadget companies try to be profitable by using market research.
 
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