Does social media proliferate a self centered narrative inconsistent with a positive future?

Social media has dominated the narrative of our time. We have all bought in. Some take thousands of selfies every day to get the perfect image. We live within the age of ‘I’ when we desperately need to be thinking about ‘our’; our children, our planet, our home…

We are lining the pockets of those which are upholding this dominant narrative. Mark Zuckerberg banks our desire to raise our profiles, shareholders get rich off our insecurity, and we play their game because for some reason we think we have to.

By why do we serve them, when online communities can be created relatively easily to challenge the narrative?

It would be really interesting to hear people’s views on why they maintain their connection with these social media forums.

Why would a sustainability or pressure group for instance host on facebook when they could on Better Century? They are after all lining the pockets of Mark Zuckerberg and his shareholders. The money made by them could go to good causes.

Or do you think people simply don’t think about it?

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I don’t want to get started on the evils of Facebook :slight_smile:

Here’s some excerpt from a review of Siva Vaidyanathan’s book Anti-Social Media.

Vaidhyanathan argues that the central problem with Facebook is the pernicious symbiosis between its business model – surveillance capitalism – and the behaviour of its users. Because Facebook provides “free” services, it derives its revenues solely by monetising the data trails of its users – the photographs they upload, the status updates they post, the things they “like”, their friendship groups, the pages they follow, etc. This enables it to build detailed profiles of each user (containing 98 data points, according to one report), which can then be used for even more precisely targeted advertising.

Facebook “farms” its users for data: the more they produce – the more “user engagement” there is, in other words – the better. Consequently, there is an overriding commercial imperative to increase levels of engagement. And it turns out that some types of pernicious content are good for keeping user-engagement high: fake news and hate speech are pretty good triggers, for example. So the central problem with Facebook is its business model: the societal downsides we are experiencing are, as programmers say, a feature, not a bug.

Here’s a link to the book’s publisher page

I guess, as with cigarette smoking or air pollution or river pollution, the awareness and ‘clean-up’ will have to begin from the ‘West.’

(BTW, that ‘river pollution’ probably calls for a separate post.)

Some insights about social networking and psychology.