It used to be only a few voices on the margin: Ian Bogost, Sherry Turkle, Geert Lovink, or Evgeny Morozov, for example, who urged people to think a little more about the time they were spending on social media. But soon the whisper grew and now the movement may be reaching the mainstream. With the rise to prevalence of former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris and his Center for Humane Technology, and with the Facebook Privacy/Cambridge Analytical scandal all over congress and the world news, people are starting to have conversations that were considered almost laughable before. Continue reading “Social Media Mindfulness Is Not Enough”
You wake up in the morning, and what’s the first thing you do? If you’re like most people, you roll over and check your phone. When you look, you see that cheerful little dot on your social media, messaging, and email app icons – 10 new emails, 4 new social media comments, 3 new text messages. For a moment you feel popular, and maybe a little stressed out and compelled to respond. So, before even getting out of bed, you’ve answered some emails, sent back a few emoji’s via text, and looked at your Facebook and Instagram comments, and those little red notification dots are cleared from your apps. You breathe a sigh of relief, and feel the stress reside… for a while… until it starts all over again, with your phone vibrating, interrupting your train of thought or whatever you’re doing with a red notification dot on your various apps. The notification dot is feeling less and less cheerful and more and more like a burden every time it lights up on your phone, and you feel your stress mounting as you are compelled to deal with the interruption. Then you deal with it and feel relief again… until the cycle continues.
If I were to rewrite the iconic 1983 Police hit song “I’ll be watching you” for the information age, it might go something like this:
Every pic you take,
Every move you make,
Every post you make,
Every word you say,
They’ll be watching you.
Oh can’t you see,
They’re using more than cookies.
They’re with you on every road,
On every app you download.
You clicked “I agree”,
And now they see what you see,
They’re tracking you,
And all your pictures too,
They’re always watching you.
This is part three in a series which details why I think you can be an effective social media advisor, even if you are not personally on Facebook yourself. In this post, I’m going to briefly discuss some of the personal reasons why I do not engage on Facebook, and why I’m thinking about withdrawing my participation from social media completely. You can read part 1 here, and part 2 here.
Even if you don’t work in a social media or technology-related field, sometimes keeping up with social media can feel like a second full time job. For some, this second job is worth it, but for others, it might not be, and social media use is more a compulsion, something you do out of habit, even when it stops feeling fun. Like smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, or a regular sugar habit, this activity initially delivers feelings of happiness, euphoria or satisfaction, only to devolve into a monkey on the users’ back.