In 2004 I formed an addiction to the MMORPG video game Lineage 2. I mentally fortified myself against all future MMORPGs. No, I have never played World of Warcraft, I am very aware of what to avoid to stay out of traps and other potential addictions...or so I thought. I spend no more than 5 minutes a day on FB, or Faceplace as I call it, as I have seen many people damage their actual social lives with it. I thought LinkedIn was "safe", and even google news and other news feeds were ok. I didn't realize how wrong I was until the last few months.
Starting with Hurricane Ida at the end of August 2021 - I have been constantly knocked offline. As soon as one things starts to resolve something else happens, to include current diagnosis of Covid. I am feeling much better, but still not great. Anyways, I logged onto faceplace (what I call FB) and was asked to take a survey about how FB cares...Thats when I realized I have stemmed my addiction to FB, IG, and a few others, but I allowed LinkedIn to take over, as well as my tailored news feeds. I was still feeding my ADHD demon, while adding stress because I was padding my time management goals with time that is not actually rest/relaxation. I realized a few things and that lead me to research more.
1. (Not addiction related) We should be compensated for our time/data, it doesn't have to be much, but it should be something. I know initially the fact that it is "free" is the benefit, but now that so much information can be generated, there should be modest compensation, at least in the form of tokens/coins or other non monetary items which wouldn't cost the platform as it would make money off of this as well.
2. Platforms such as LI and Faceplace (FB) actually take advantage of basic neurological constructs. Issues such as ADHD are actually rewarded through these platforms and provide a false sense of enjoyment. Those with certain disorders are able to stay on a platform for insane amounts of time. Addiction may not be formed, but it would not take much to manipulate persons with certain disorders like ADHD into developing devastating habits.
3. Social Media can become an addiction. No matter how resilient you are to addictions such as smoking or eating or other things that give us small shots of pleasure, these Social Media seem harmless, they are sneaky things. This is not the case, as seen from time management drafts and other facets of persons who spend more than a few minutes on a platform a day.
3a. Video games can form this same addiction, but it is easier to see because a person is generally static, but with social media they can be dynamic, taking momentary breaks or switching between devices. Social Media addiction should be seen in the same frame as video game addiction.
These companies are aggregating massive amounts of data which can generate real intelligence that can in turn stimulate projects and programs or just sell to other organizations such as advertising firms. A user does not have to do a background check before joining social media, which is like someone being allowed into a casino if they have a gambling addiction, however, since the effects are not viewed on the same level it is not really an issue.
The Reality is that a person can ruin their lives just as quickly being addicted to Social Media as an addiction to anything else.
I really want to hear your thoughts. How long do you allow yourself to be on social media platforms? How many are you on and why? Do you look out for family and friends? Should these platforms be responsible to their uses? Should their be background checks or health/wellness screens? Should we have access to our real data driven profiles so that we can see what intelligence is being generated on us?
If you want to read more about this subject I found these great articles:
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