The Echoes of the Mind (166) Social Media

Social Media

Even when people should know better, they are influenced by and rely upon inaccurate information. ~ American psychologist David Rapp

Social media is popular because of its titillation value: it feeds the mind, which the Collective are slaves to. Rumor (now called “fake news”) is rife, readily believed, and spread.

If you wish the sympathy of the broad masses, you must tell them the crudest and most stupid things. ~ Adolph Hitler

People seldom share on social media for information value alone. They share because they want attention for themselves, and for what such trivial sharing says about them. People want recognition and respect. Social media is an easy avenue for attention gratification.

Peer approval is important during adolescence, so they’re sharing content that they think others will find impressive. ~ American psychologist Joanna Yau

Social media creates emotional contagion: people’s moods subconsciously sway under the content they read online.

Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. ~ American Facebook data scientist Adam Kramer et al

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Social media companies deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it toward their own commercial purposes. They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide. This can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents. ~ Hungarian American business magnate George Soros

The power of social media is not be underestimated. Americans touch their smartphones over 2,600 times a day, and heavy-duty users easily double that. Whereas Americans fart some 3 million times a minute, they like things on Facebook 4 million times a minute.

Society is increasingly relying on the digitized, aggregated opinions of others to make decisions. Social influences create herding effects. ~ Israeli social statistician Lev Muchnik et al

The emotional herding effect of social media is nothing new: financial markets have ever been herd driven. With social media, the herd-instinct of the Collective is in full flower.

Bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people. ~ Indian American social-media maven Chamath Palihapitiya

While humor spreads well through social media, outrage serves as superior kindling for the attention that social-media serfs seek. Shared outrage reinforces in-group identification and out-group antipathy with a vigor that humor cannot match.

There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation, and polarization in the world today. ~ American entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

To engineer addiction, Facebook has been a continuing conduit for sensationalism, misinformation, and polarization. The instant messaging network WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, is a great tool to spread rumors that inflame the fools who readily believe whatever is presented to them. In India and other countries, people have been attacked and murdered after false rumors spread via WhatsApp.

We wanted democracy but got mobocracy. ~ Egyptian Internet activist Wael Ghonim

The effect of social media is like that of gossip, except that social media is gossip on steroids. The most profound societal effect of social media has been to increase political polarization, which has become especially severe in the United States.

In group polarization, an entire group may shift to a more radical viewpoint after a discussion even though the individual group members did not subscribe to this view prior to the discussion. This happens for a number of reasons – one is that group members want to represent themselves in a favorable light in the group by adopting a viewpoint slightly more extreme than the perceived mean. In online forums, this well-known phenomenon is made even more problematic by the fact that discussions take place in settings where group members are fed only the information that fits their worldview, making the discussion forum an echo chamber where group members only hear their own voices. ~ Danish philosopher Vincent Hendricks

Social media is being used worldwide by political propogandists to play to the sympathies of gullible users. The power of social media provides political influence at low cost, throwing a wrench into what is otherwise a plutocratic game in running for office. For just a few million dollars, Russia successfully influenced the 2016 US presidential election.

We created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. This is a global problem, eroding the core foundations of how people behave. ~ Chamath Palihapitiya