I always knew many of the things Netflix’s “Social Dilemma” warned about. The algorithms, the spying, the addiction that comes with it. The division amongst people, ever so strong as of late.
But for some reason, I was in denial. Surely me, an IT guy that’s wise to the technology, was immune to its subtle influence? I don’t think so. I think it affected me in ways I didn’t realize.
It started awhile ago, actually. I’d pretty much curated my feed to be free from the highly fringe people that I often found myself arguing with. However, even friends I did think were sane often had friends that weren’t. I began getting into arguments with people I’ve never met. Gradually, that started affecting my real world emotions.
Someone was wrong on the Internet, and I had to show them why. When they didn’t get it, it really bothered me.
Then I watched the “Social Dilemma”, a documentary filled with interviews of the people that invented such technologies as the Facebook algorithms, including the “Like” button. It also includes dramatizations of it’s effects on kids and adults alike. It hit home way too closely.
First, I decided I’ll delete the app from both my phone and my iPad. That was a start. I posted much less, noticeably so, as when I did check in, notifications were through the roof. The dopamine hit of getting a “Like” wasn’t nearly as important as it was before.
Today (October 12th), I deactivated my account altogether. I didn’t delete it; that’s an option, but I chose to test the waters, instead of being brave and jumping all in.
We’ll see how it goes. So far, it’s liberating. While I do miss sharing pics with my family and friends, and sincerely love hearing from folks at past jobs, this is likely the most healthy option for me, and I suspect many other people.
Disclaimer: while I also deleted my Twitter account, I chose to remain on Instagram. I know, I know. It’s owned by Facebook. However, it’s got much more of a leaning on pics than it does anything else, and I’ve yet to get into an argument over what someone had for lunch, or their pics of their cat. 🙂 The advertising, if it is indeed targeting by browsing, really sucks. Sorry Instagram, I’ll never buy a Chevy. 🙂