Japan uses far less social media (image)
Social media does not have many advantages, save creating a world of narcissists and people wasting countless hours on pointless stuff. Anything useful you can do on social media, you can do in real life.
The man behind the campaign to give up social media is former Silicon Valley tech guy Jaron Lanier. Born to parents who escaped murderous regimes from the Nazis and in Ukraine, he gave up ‘virtual reality’ to create his own reality instead based on creativity (he owns over 1000 musical instruments!) He says to delete your accounts and gives reasons his book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts why:
- Losing your free will
- Undermining truth
- Makes what you say meaningless
- Destroys capacity for empathy
- Makes politics impossible
- Make you unhappy
- Hates your soul
Jaron talks of how he loves cats and dogs. But they are very different. While alas a dog may well stick by someone who mistreats him or her, a cat will go live somewhere else. He thinks with social media, ‘we should all be cats’. Not be told what to do. Say ‘hello’ to a new life of freedom.
One woman gave up social media and wrote a newspaper article after interviewing others who had already done it. One woman gave up online shopping to take a master’s program (using her phone only to make calls), another gave up her 11,000 Twitter followers, after she felt angry at women gushing about their children (after her only child died in labour). Another former social media addict now reads a few books each week, and is studying Celtic mythology.
The negative aspects of too much social media make people compare their lives to others. They feel too ugly, fat, thin, stupid, angry, jealous, depressed or anxious. Others feel they should spend more money or be a different race. Some people have even died falling off cliffs, while taking selfies for social media. One person attempted suicide, upset at the selfies taken. Another had to visit hospital with repetitive strain injury, from typing too much on What’s App.
One self-help author writes audio books on how the universe works, and how to find inner peace. The books have some good information. But it all goes pear-shaped. At the end of each chapter she chirps ‘Click to tweet!’ The bubble of authenticity bursts immediately.
I didn’t know what Facebook was. Now I do know, I have to say – it sounds like a huge waste of time. Betty White
It’s impossible to improve health using Facebook. Because every time you get good medical advice out there, it’ll eventually be overwhelmed by bad medical advice which will be more engaging. Jaron Lanier