Social media has become a daily necessity much like the air we breathe at this point. What was once a mindful creation has become mindless and almost robotic in a sense. The question is where did we go wrong? The original intention of social media wasn’t what it currently is today, it was created for the betterment of society. Many people will argue that there is nothing wrong with the internet in general, everyone is just purposefully hating on it. Most people see it as a valuable tool but the main issue is whether or not social media is a tool that we are using or are we the ones being used at the end of the day.
Google is one of the most major search engines and we get all our information from it but has it ever occurred to us that maybe this is a fair transaction on both sides. Its not just us getting the info but its also the search engine itself that is recording what we search for, how long we search for it as well as what could we be possibly interested in for future references. Social media as a stand alone concept is fine, it’s evident that the business models behind these billion dollar corporations that are flawed.
These apps are built specifically to allow for addiction. there are so many features that we overlook when in reality every update is just another way to keep you hooked. Never has a tech developer thought about your well being and created a feature that allows you to feel less attached to the apps you are using. That is just a failed approach when it comes to the financials of a company as the aim of the game is marketability. Companies are constantly competing for your attention so they can then sell you stuff and promote things based around your interests.
Tweaked to Your Perfection
You might be thinking to yourself that you are merely using social media to stay in the loop and make sure that you know what your friends know but the reality is every individual gets their own customized feed. Companies collect data and know exactly what to show at which time, if you constantly keep track of Instagram for instance and suddenly you decide to stay away from social media, the minute you get back on the app your first recommendation will be the page you enjoy viewing so you end up in what most people consider to be the endless amount of rabbit holes on the Internet.
One minute you are watching a video about the Milky way and he next thing you know you end up watching a bunch of idiots debating that the earth is flat. Many people won’t fall for this but there are people who do and those people are typically kids who don’t necessarily know what to believe in life. We think our feed is a way we view the same things as our friends when it reality it is actually designed to keep you hooked and the posts are ordered in a way that you scroll mindlessly to increase your screen on time.
“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free”
Even when you text someone you still sit there staring at your phone for a reply due to the existence of the floating dots that indicate that someone is typing. This plays into human psychology where we are not designed to withstand such an anticipation. Tech developers dig deep to understand human psychology and play into our weaknesses, there is no way you can get a notification that says you were tagged in a photo on Instagram and consciously choose to ignore it. We will most definitely want to view that picture and this is a completely understandable reaction because that is how we are programmed to react as humans.
This is also how YouTube makes you fall into an endless pit of videos. the algorithm cross references content that you watch with your searches on google to form a more accurate clone of yourself to exploit. The algorithm has one goal which is to sell you to advertisers and companies because your attention matters. Your one purpose is only as s product to market and nothing more, the only way companies can achieve that is to know what you are interested without even you knowing it. What we don’t realize is that companies today have way too much data to the point where they could possibly clone us and create an identical personality of the users.
Technology has advanced at an alarming speed over the years and in most cases social media has reached a level of evolution far beyond us. Social media has reached the point where every action we take is being judged or monitored by thousands of people simultaneously and this isn’t something we are programmed to undergo. We have become slaves of our own creation and it seems like everything revolves around a social presence. To truly exist, an individual has to be on social media as there is no other life other than the one we live online.
As a species we peaked during the creation of social media and the internet but years after that we sort of flat lined and now we are at a point of deterioration which is extremely sad. We failed to truly understand the meaning behind social media and have instead used it as a tool for propaganda and causing polarization. As much as there are positives to social media there are just as many negatives but the only problem is the negatives seem to be fare more severe in the long run.
We went from a species that discovered the universe was the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space; the cosmos; macrocosm to a species that now believes the earth is flat and that the moon landing was faked. Somewhere down the line we fucked up as civilization and it has become more and more apparent that social media has become the method of choice to breed stupidity. We see children being manipulated by false information shared on YouTube and kids wasting their lives investing their time into pointless celebrity gossip that in most cases don’t actually lead to anything fruitful.
“What use was time to those who’d soon achieve Digital Immortality?”
AI was created to benefit us and study human behavior on social media but that is no longer the case. We as a species can no longer keep up with the evolution of AI. The creator can no longer predict the final outcome from a system that he/she built and to many this means nothing, but the reality is we have managed to create a system that is constantly creating systems of itself and is becoming more aware by feeding it information. We are at a point where AI is able to evolve faster than human biology and the more info that is at its disposable, the more likely the end product will win over the user.
Its like a game of chess but the opponent makes a move just to spite the player due to the fact that it knows it has already won regardless. Most people imagine an AI takeover to be in the form of robots, much like the terminator but the sad truth is that the only robots are us. Our lives over time have subtly evolved to a point where social media encompasses us as individuals. Its hard to imagine a life without it at this point and that is honestly depressing. Its sad how a piece of code can now define our lives and put value on the things we do.
We seek validation from an extreme amount of people which isn’t normal, as our species we never evolved to the point where we can actually comprehend criticism or opinions from so many people as we are meant to only hold ties with those we are genuinely close with and not half the human population. This is something many people fail to understand as they see the need to be viewed as perfect in the eyes of millions. Nobody can ever please everyone, its just impossible and social media amplifies this problem by creating the need to only have positive comments or good remarks.
Nobody has the freedom to think freely as society has already created what the guidelines are for a perfect socially acceptable human being. If you believe in the rights to bear arms then you are immediately slandered due to the fact that you have contradicting opinions with the general public. Social media has managed to scare people into believing what is right and wrong just so they don’t get ostracized from having a social life. This shouldn’t be the reality, people should act in a certain way because they truly believe in it, not just because they are bullied into it.
What’s the point of bombarding someone with a ton of hate just because they have a contradicting opinions with the general public like supporting abortions or euthanization. Putting someone in the mental space where they have to follow or believe in a cause regardless if its the right cause shouldn’t be the way. Instead a different approach should be taken by educating people rather than belittling them for their opinions. Many people preach for freedom of speech yet they only believe in that statement so long as everyone supports them and there is nobody on the other side. When a contrasting opinion approaches social media erupts into a pool of toxicity.
Our opinions don’t have to be validated by others because honestly who the fuck cares. Everyone is entitled to their own approach regarding any matter. Just because someone may disagree with something that was put out publicly, that doesn’t mean the opinion holds no value. This is a serious issue that has to be addressed as many people seek validation for their thoughts or appearances from social media but when they fail to receive it, their mental state slowly deteriorates. This has in fact led to a spike in suicide rates amongst pre teens and young adults who primarily rely on social media for self validation.
Life Beyond the Screen
The golden question is, are we even living our life beyond social media or are we actually living for the sake of social media. It is understood that social media has come to govern us but could it possibly be true that our every decision is being subconsciously controlled by the impact of social media. This is a huge possibility for many, given the fact that we fear to speak up in the event we are ridiculed online, we dress according to what is popular online, we use slang to imitate the social culture and also due the fact that we only eat food that is aesthetically pleasing for the feed.
Individuality and originality has been dying over the years but it has become extremely apparent that this may just cause it to end for good. We are nothing more than copies of each other and its hard to imagine a world where Picasso would have taken a picture of his art and posted it on Instagram or if Beethoven were to record his symphonies and post it on YouTube. Originality was what had led to some the greatest creations in the world but if the copycat trend continues we will forever be at a standstill.
Jobs have sprouted over the world with the creation of social media, spawning in millions of individuals who refer to themselves as social media influencers. These individuals do hold large amounts of influence over the general public and in some cases this influence is used for the wrong reasons. We have to truly understand the power of social media and its ruthless effects on future generations and if we fail, the consequences may end up being beyond repair.
Kids deserve to actually enjoy the real world and just because parents have a busy life, this doesn’t entitle them to shove screens in front of their kids faces to pacify them. Technology was never meant to act as a pacifier or parenting tool. A childish movie or song playing on repeat is the scary shit we watch in movies when someone’s mind is being controlled yet somehow we use it for kids. The generation of today is the generation that will truly grow up with technology and this is uncharted waters for humanity. Its best we thread this phase carefully to avoid a major mistake.
I think it is safe to say we have reached a point of no return where there isn’t really anything we can do to turn back time. A life without a social presence just isn’t feasible anymore due to the fact that the current generation is basically being shaped by the existence of social media. This amazing feat of technology has brought forward many benefits but it has also formed a new worldwide issue we all face. As time progresses it seems like social media has managed to shape the way an individual thinks and reacts which is the exact opposite of how we biologically function as a species.
Instead of being given the freedom to make our own judgement, we now fall victim to online criticism and backlash which has brought forward issues such as cancel culture and the rigging of elections. How will we move forward as a generation if this is the problems we have to live with. Polarization and self validation has to stop before these things eat away at our very existence and end up defining us as a species. The phycological aspect of social media is far deeper than we see it and this concept/culture has been embedded into the minds of millennials causing them to redefine their lifestyle.
This doesn’t have to be a gruesome defeat for mankind if we truly recognize social media for what it is instead of valuing it far more than what it is actually worth. At the end of the day its just a program coded by an average human being for the sake of an easy interaction. Its time to put an end to a glorified social life and try to instead lead a glorified life in the real world as the feeling is much more rewarding. Social media isn’t the devil of all creation, its the users that make it what it is and if more people tried to shift their perspective on it, many new possibilities may just arise.
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