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I am Anti Social Media
Perhaps that shouldn't come as much of a surprise
considering I made a video saying we should all be bored more often
and also because a lot of people are anti social media these days
it's kind of a fashionable opinion
but I think the reason I am anti social media is
different from most people's reasons
I mean, there's a lot of reasons to hate social media and I won't cover them here
but things like, you know, people post the best of themselves, you feel bad
scrolling through your feed
there's these filter bubbles where you get caught up in your own communities
there's all the time we're wasting on it when we should be
doing more productive things all of those are great reasons
to be anti social media but for me,
the core of my problem with it comes down to
the meta issues with social media
you know, ostensibly social media is
meant to be a place where you share things about your life
pictures and words and whatever
that tell your friends whatever is going on with you
share these things with your family and in theory
this should bring us all closer together and improve
our social lives hence the "social" in social media
but I feel like what ends up happening is kind of the opposite
and that's because of the systems that exist
around this sharing
obviously there's, you know, like systems and comment systems, and
our brains are sort of wired to get a dopamine hit
from that positive social feedback so in a way
these platforms are sort of
quantifying this thing
that in the past was not able to be measured but now we can measure
popularity, and likes, and comments, and all that sort of stuff, and so
people will really focus on
achieving that, it changes the focus
from maybe sharing the things about your life
to sharing the things that get most likes, or
it's about creating an impression of yourself
for the world
so let me give you a concrete example sometimes I see
things that my friends post that are kind of
intimate moments of their lives, with them and their partner
and in a way, like
that's wonderful, and I love that
they have wonderful loving relationships
but the meta level is saying
why are you posting this on social media, and
and perhaps, why did you set the camera up there
to film you, like
clearly this is sort of a fun spontaneous moment
except I know it's not spontaneous because of the fact that it's here
on social media, posted in this particular way
that is the thing that really gets me, it's the idea that
the motivations for what we post are not
just this sort of naive
you know, we're just sharing our lives it's like, everything that
people post, has a real reason for them
and it's thinking about those reasons that drives me nuts
when I look at social media and,
more and more, social media feels like
this giant void into which people yell
like, it's devolving into some sort of
narcissistic
playground where you only rise to the top
if that's what you're doing
so it just encourages more and more of that behavior
so rather than making us more social
it's making us less social
more focused on what we're doing in ourselves and,
more focused on always taking that picture
or filming that thing so we can share it with people
so I feel like in a way, it's taking
away from our lives years ago
this economist, Daniel Kahneman talked about the tyranny
of the remembering-self he was basically saying that
you know, the way we think of our lives is
by thinking back on it, by remembering
what's happened to us
so when we go on holidays we often have to take that
picture take that, you know, get that sunset and stuff this was in the days before social media, so we just had
we just had the tyranny of the remembering self, and Kahneman's point was
later on, you're almost never going to look at those pictures again
and yet
you spend so much of your time when you're on vacation
and could be enjoying yourself, you spend so much time
thinking ahead and doing work for this self
that will exist in the future even if that
future self is never even really going to use
the materials that you've just, you know, spend a lot of time
creating for them and now
I feel like there's a worse tyranny,
the tyranny of social media where, at all times
a lot of us have to be thinking about what makes
a good picture, what makes a good video, and maybe
stopping the real like spontaneity in order to setup
the things, that we grand for
and for me
you know, looking at all these things
it just feels, inauthentic and as I say, I
can't escape the meta level of reasoning
when I look at other people's feeds about
what was the motivation for taking this picture
or posting this picture or captioning it in this way, and all that sort of stuff
and for those reasons, I basically stopped using Facebook
and barely use Twitter
and my usage of Instagram has dropped
way down when I see it becoming
this really crowded space where everyone's shouting
for attention, it makes
me not want to play that game, because
it's not a game I want to play
so it's not a game I'm interested in winning
YouTube on the other hand, if I can say something nice about the platform that
I'm on
I feel like
It's better than other social media in that, there's no
pretense to me simply sharing
my everyday life, it's
you know, I think it's a bit more self-aware
and you can discuss the fact that the camera is
here, and, obviously why I am doing this
and sharing my views, or educational content
on the main channel
It's because those are the things that I like doing, and I feel like
on YouTube there's more time, there's more nuance, so we can actually
get to issues
and not just have
those visual and the constant scroll feed
so anyway that is my thought on
social media that there's this sort of
ironic idea that, a technology
that seems like it should bring us closer together
and improve our social lives
instead makes us more focused on ourselves, and more
focused on capturing
our moments so that we can share them, so that we can achieve
some sort of status points
than actually focusing on experiencing and enjoying our lives
so that's why I think
social media is actually kind of anti-social
but I would be interested to hear what you think
have you gone through a similar experience, where you know, you've
stopped using one or more
social media, and what's your favorite, and
how do you feel about the whole YouTube situation
maybe, I mean if you feel like commenting that, why not
but I'll be in the comments
and probably back over in the main channel very soon