Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now | Jaron Lanier

Summary of: Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
By: Jaron Lanier

Introduction

Find yourself in a compelling journey into the dark side of social media with the summary of ‘Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now’ by Jaron Lanier. Discover how pervasive algorithms are manipulating your behavior and how this manipulation is affecting our society as a whole. With a particular focus on understanding the BUMMER business model, gain insight into how these platforms prey on our emotions, breed discontent, alter our self-perception, and propagate fake realities, eroding empathy and individuality in the process. Finally, consider the possibility of transforming the business model to reflect healthier alternatives for users and society.

Trapped in the Digital Cage

Smartphones and social media enable algorithms to manipulate our behavior, turning us into products sold to advertisers. The data gathered on individuals is compared to millions of others, allowing the algorithms to predict and influence what we do. Advertisers use this information to sell us products or even manipulate our voting behavior. This new age of tailored advertising has blurred the lines of ethical advertising practices.

Social Media Addiction

Research shows that moderately unreliable feedback is more engaging than reliable feedback. Social media algorithms incorporate adaptability and randomness to keep users engaged, leading to addiction. Social media addiction can cause disconnection from reality and is a widespread issue.

Abolishing the BUMMER Business Model

The BUMMER business model is the predominant model used by social media companies, such as Facebook and Google, to modify users’ behavior and sell their data to advertisers. This model has six components: Attention Acquisition, Butting into Everyone’s Lives, Cramming content down people’s throats, Directing people’s behaviors in sneaky ways, Earning money by letting the worst assholes secretly screw with everyone else, and Fake mobs and Faker society. It’s essential to stop using BUMMER services and not the technology itself to prevent society’s current issues.

The Asshole Supremacy on Social Media

Social media platforms promote and reward asshole behavior through the Attention Acquisition leading to Asshole supremacy component of the BUMMER business model. This is because people switch to pack mode, where social status concerns reign supreme. Consequently, there’s a societal shift towards more obnoxious and hateful posts leading to more attention. Fortunately, platforms like LinkedIn prioritize professional advancement, reducing the incidence of asshole-ish actions.

The Dangerous Pervasiveness of Fake People

In today’s online world, the choices we make are often guided by the opinions of others. Whether we’re looking for a good doctor or a funny video to watch, we tend to rely on reviews and popularity. However, what we may not realize is that many of these reviews and followers are fake, controlled by fake-people factories who make a profit by selling their services to websites like Ashley Madison. This issue of fakeness is not limited to BUMMER services like social media; it has infiltrated the truth elsewhere, too. The wildest conspiracy theories are often spread through fake articles and memes, amplified by bots that don’t even exist. One such example is the anti-vaccination movement, which is based on unsubstantiated claims spread by fake accounts. This insidious problem is not only dangerous but can also have fatal consequences.

The Impact of BUMMER on Context and Empathy

The book highlights the importance of context and how it influences the meaning of our messages. Context not only affects the consequences of our utterances, but it also shapes their meaning. The book argues that social media platforms that measure people’s worth based on likes and followers, known as BUMMER, undermine context. This leads to a culture obsessed with numbers rather than ideas, which is detrimental to online discourse and journalism. Moreover, component C of BUMMER, which involves cramming tailored content down people’s feed, erodes empathy by depriving us of shared experiences. Hence, the book warns about the dangers of BUMMER and encourages us to be mindful of the context in which we communicate online.

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