Jaron Lanier interview on how social media ruins your life

Jaron Lanier, the Silicone Valley ‘computer philosopher’, thinks social media is ruining your life.

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In this interview Jaron Lanier talks about Facebook, YouTube, Google and how the tech and social media giants are using algorithms to record data about their users – and how internet algorithms shape how we see the world and what we’re shown online.


44 thoughts on “Jaron Lanier interview on how social media ruins your life

  1. Just unfollow the people and accounts that don't add to your life and follow accounts that you like and make you a better person, if you are into paintings, follow paintings accounts, you don't have to follow shallow people taking selfies of a fake lifestyle all the time, or news that try to coerce you into something, it's like everything, it can have a good use and a bad use, not everyone has to quit a drink or two because some are alcoholics, same way not just because some can handle alcohol it means everyone can, just live an examined life

  2. It's not just social media, its computers themselves. The Iphone uses addictives schemes in loading but so do computers. We really need to get off our computers and live life again.

  3. Such a stigma with social media. Folks, it’s all about how you use it…I have learned more through YouTube videos (personal development, etc.) than any other form of media. This includes public schooling. What exactly is wrong with that?

    I utilize Instagram to spread positivity and expand minds. Because of it being a social media site, depressed folks that otherwise wouldn’t have seen my work, do. I have been thanked by countless individuals because of it. What’s wrong with that?

  4. Ignore the irony that you are watching this on a social media platform and just take into consideration that you are taking health advise from a guy who looks like he is two cheeseburgers away from a heart attack.

  5. So, social media ruins people's lives by being addicting through constant change of what we view to our liking, and changing us hy the reward and punish systems (other peoples opinions on us being visible and in our face, due to notifications and the looming want to see other peoples reactions and thoughts)…. there's been studies for this and according to this guy, they're in agreement that social media is a negative influence to our emotional health….

    I don't know, I think people may be using it wrong. Like he said, there's algorithms that change according to what we view, so if we view things that may not be beneficial to us, we'll get more of that. Being pushed to consumerism is real, but being a skeptic and asking hard questions to yourself and/or the seller should mitigate that issue. We all recognize people can be extremely condescending and nasty, so understanding that reality and taking precautions (like reading a book on that issue, or going to emotional training, or w/e) will help battle that immensely. I never have a urge to buy something because of a ad, i flip past them all the time. People's comments don't faze me (not often at least) and frankly, I have communities that support me and are my rock, so I don't question my worth or ability. I'm on Instagram, and I only follow Artists, models (for fashion inspiration), some friends, funny people, and entrepreneurial pages. But I don't frequent Instagram because I know i need to be as much of a creator as i am a consumer of content. I try to post art way more than i comment for example.

    That's just me tho.

  6. So my wife and I have agreed to experiment with at least a one-day "fast" from social media completely. We'll walk in the woods, and leave our smartphones home and be forced to look up and actually notice nature without the compelling need to take photos in order to share them. When we get home, they'll already be shut off until the next day. We'll see how that goes in an attempt to wean off of it.

    It's gotten crazy. Most people can't control their addictions to social media. I think it may turn out that it becomes the worst addiction the world has ever seen – worse than alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.

  7. Self interest? Does this man not own a mirror? Nothing could be ruining a life in a more obvious way than obesity. His unhealthy physical self reflects his mental self and negates his message. Self expression is always welcomed. Self loathing is sad and repulsive.

  8. Think about it, if it weren't for social media many kids (and many others) wouldn't be bullied, elections wouldn't be tampered with, disingenuous advertising wouldn't prey on individuals, peoples information wouldn't be sold or stolen (at least minimized) and this rise in tribal mentality wouldn't become so pervasive. We put up with all this so we can post food pictures and memes.

  9. I agree with this man, the manipulation is the insidious part including how FaceBook only shows you certain things based on these algorithms; I hate that part of it. However, YouTube for example, provides a wealth of information but I just have to work harder to avoid the manipulation of ads and the forced feeds I get based on my previous activity. Overall his take on how this is not smart or good for society overall is spot on!

  10. You can DELETE your account in the FB settings, don't log in for two weeks and it will be gone. Maybe not from their servers, but your account will be dead and you can even get a .zip of all your pictures. Then never look back. It is absolutely an addiction and it's so integrated and "justified" to be in your life, but it's completely unnecessary and only makes your life far more complicated and depressing than it should be. I've been without it for 3 years and I watch people compare their fake representations of their human experience to the fake representations of other people's human experience. People are making themselves depressed and miserable and their information is being sold while the algorithms manipulate and bend them in an effort to make a fucking buck. It's not innocent by any means, it is hostile like Jaron says.

  11. Rather than blame the technology, why not take responsibility for your own actions and have the self-control to balance? It's similar to demonizing fast food, when in reality, the customer is the one dumb enough to keep coming back.

  12. Youtube is probably the most effective at changing behaviours, opinions and society. The problem is that Youtubes algorithm is broken, it promotes fascist and far right opinions since controversial videos and titles get more clicks. Unlike facebook where actual popularity (in an echo chamber) gets promoted, Youtube promotes content that tends to be controversial and extreme in many cases. People in my age group and lower went from being ironically edgy to actually supporting far right ideas…

  13. ok I fully agree with what he's saying… but my only question is why can't he just look not normal but at least little more consertive why do they(conspiracy nuts /anarchists/flat earthers and unfortunately genuine whistle blowers like my man here etc) always have to have 'this look'

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