Having deleted my Facebook account earlier this year, I also deleted my Twitter account last week.
That first step was a long time intent, I had grudgingly kept FB for a year while I was involved in my cycling adventure last year. The Cambridge Analytica story gave me a reminder and my FB account was promptly deleted. I’ve not missed it.
I’ve watched the divisive and abusive fallout from Trump and Brexit on Twitter. That division was to some extent sown and those results influenced by the effects social media have on us. They are far from the sole cause, but in tight results, decisive ones.
Then I finally read Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier which has been on my silly pile of unread books for a few months.
It could be shorter, some elements are sloppy, but overall it is devastating.
To summarise, it is the objective of the business model to change our behaviour, as a by product we become irrational, isolated, rude and otherwise a lot less well connected, empathetic and human.
Social media are causing us to do stupid things and making us unhappy.
There are some positives, I have learned a lot and made a few new friends.
On balance there is no contest.
Hence I deleted my Twitter account. I am already more happy and suddenly my diary is full of social meetings with people I’d not quite got round to seeing for a few years.
Anyway, a reprise from early ramblings on this :
I mostly shut up about my thoughts on the internet a while ago. In part because the idea that not all was well had gone main stream and in part because I began to bore myself!
For the nth time I should point out that I work in technology and consider the internet to be both wonderful but also something we need to look very hard at to ensure it serves us for good.
Our history is littered with our obsessions with new and interesting things which, encouraged by well meaning marketing people, we thought terribly cool, but which turned out to be rather bad for us. When we look back it is easy to ridicule our forebears for embracing cigarettes, radium toothpaste, soda with cocaine in it and my favourite, radium cigarettes.
My favourite which I stumbled on while writing this and simply could not believe:
Then there is this. Shouldn’t…
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It takes a good person with an intelligent idea
To stop a bad person with a stupid idea
Today started well.
I got to Waterloo, half awake as usual.
I got through the barrier to the sight of The Queen’s Guard playing.
Busy, smile and head off.
Or stop and listen.
I stopped and listened as they played.
A couple of hundred others did so too.
I got my tube to Canary Wharf and bought my poppy.
I always get one.
But I’ve never spent that much before.
Then I had a full on brilliant day.