Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When is social media too much? (cartoon)

Seth Auberon, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; Tom Tomorrow (thismodernworld.com)
If teens have been peddled to and become addicted and obsessed with social media, what are they really after? It used to be "being part of the group." Now it's all about money and FAME.
Stimulating the brain's reward centers with addictive devices (thismodernworld.com)

In a day and age obsessed with social media and spying technology, it's hard to picture life without them.

Is that good or bad or neither? According to Andrew Keen, author of the book Digital Vertigo: How Today's Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us, the Internet, and particularly social media, is changing society in a way that is worrisome. (Christians agree).

Keen has long been known for the position he has taken on the addictive Internet, claiming that it is having an adverse effect on society and people personally. After voicing this position in his book The Cult of Amateur, he has been given nicknames like the "Net's supreme cyber-grump" and the "Antichrist of the Silicon Valley."

Speaking to WebProNews he explains that, while he supports the Internet and social media, he is concerned that the public nature of the social age is resulting in "losing something essential about what it means to be human." 

(The National, Feb. 2014) How are teens being affected by social media? Research suggests the impact is emotional - bullying, obsession with money and fame (defined as likes), and sexting.

"One of the problems, I think, with social media is that it isn't very social. It's really just an aggregation of individuals," he says. As he explains, many of our actions on social networks aren't pro-social. The movements that have developed are not coherent, viable movements. For example, Occupy or the movements in the Middle East, are atomized and radically individualized not "social" movements. Most social networks, instead, represent "just an aggregation" of people.

To avoid a potential harmful impact, Keen says the Internet needs to become more civilized and habitable. He also suggests that government regulation regarding privacy protections against spying could help prevent the concerns from getting worse.

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