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Studies on our social media use say than an average American will spend 2 years of their life scrolling through and engaging on Meta (or similar apps). So, what’s the problem? Analog social networks have predated these online networks, haven’t they? My parents were part of kitty parties, Tupperware parties, Rotary clubs and other social circles and they turned out to be fine – for the most part. So, let’s see how these modern social circles are different.

 

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First, the obvious one. Online social networks are bigger and the reach is almost immediate thanks to their ubiquity. There’s no turn off button, or “leaving the party” as you can always be engaging via likes, comments and posts etc.

And that’s exactly the irony. Online, I am connecting with strangers on Linked In, scrolling through Instagram and following influencers and liking posts of old college buddies on Facebook. I am hyper social when it comes to my online presence. And offline, if a friend even calls me for a coffee date, I feel it’s just too much of an effort to get ready and get off the couch. “That’s a bit much eh, we will do this later,” seems to be my attitude.

 

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Secondly, it’s the scale that also is the problem. Social media is designed to keep you engaged for long hours at a stretch, as it is engineered for addiction. It allows us to hide behind a faux façade where we can actually be anyone else but truly ourselves. We can Thumbs Up every article that’s vile and hurtful without ever putting our real face forward. We can appear virtuous all we want, without ever having to be actually virtuous. More importantly, celebrities taking up social justice causes or personal vendetta issues using their internet clout to let their fans do their bidding for them has become common.

The scale of social media has made inciting quick moving revolutions possible. And on the other had also managed to amplify our most minor differences. And we’re talking fake news that have gone viral in the mainstream that pitch one group against another creating deep divisions and outrage. When we talk about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, we’re only scratching the surface here about the secret policies and practices of data collecting companies. How our personal data is being mined and sold to exploit our attention further and keep us hooked to our devices is anyone’s guess.

 

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Thirdly, what all this social media presence and engagement is doing to our own personal and professional productivity on a daily basis. Because of its unlimited reach, we can now compare our banal lives with the outside perfectly curated lives of others globally. And as we screen suck mindlessly, we’re mostly giving away our precious brain resources to consume others’ creativity, while we can be unleashing our own creativity and imagination.

Fourth is the lack of any serious and immediate regulation on social media and internet use for companies. There is no full scale regulation on social media policies and privacy measures in the US unlike the one EU has in the form of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Under these laws, users have de facto ownership of their personal data and can demand what information is being collection about them and also request companies to delete it. Failure to comply will result in massive fines for these companies.

Until, consumers truly start understanding the drawbacks of the ubiquity and the scale of social media in doing more harm than good to humanity, and until the law makers put some serious regulations in place for companies, our downward spiral into rabbit holes of YouTube cat videos is going to go on and on.

 

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An Anonymous Mother’s Cry Via Her Social Media Post:

 

This is an exceptionally hard thing for me to post. I’ve thought long and hard about this. I’ve decided it’s way too important not to bring awareness to other parents. This is not up for criticism. I only want to let all parents know what to watch for….

Kids YouTube, Roblox, Fortnite… no matter how much you think you are monitoring your child.. notifications to what your child is watching. It doesn’t matter.

My 7 year old child was taught how to attempt suicide by kids YouTube and these games. She has expressed that she doesn’t feel neglected or unloved. Instead, she was constantly told to ‘go kill yourself’ by other gamers, by kids YouTube. Shown HOW to.
Sunday night, she had a full blown anxiety attack. Which I held her and sang to her while she got through it. Monday, she drew this in school.

This is a VERY real danger! I NEVER thought I would find myself helping my SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILD through an anxiety attack. PLEASE, keep your children away from these things. I’m just so glad my child was able to express her feelings before she actually tried to harm herself. I never thought something as ‘innocent’ as kids YouTube would have these subliminal messages. Again, I’m only sharing our experience in the hopes to prevent another child going through this.

 

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Find Out Humanity Got Into Their FAANGs:

 

Facebook (Meta), Apple, Amazon, Netflix And Google Etc

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