- Maybe Social Media Isn’t Making Teens Depressed, After All. And Here’s What Likely Is.
- Does time spent using social media impact mental health?: An eight year longitudinal study
I guess it adds to the evidence why.
I guess it adds to the evidence why.
Our writing process lacks sufficient resistance, hesitation, reconsideration.
My case for friction in writing (particularly writing on the Internet) echoes and amplifies Kosslyn’s concern that frictionless design is partly to blame for the rapid spread of misinformation. When writing meets no impediments, we can easily become links in a chain through which misinformation spreads. Yet my appeal for friction writing goes to something even more basic: When you encounter (and pay heed to) resistance in your writing, you have the chance to change not only your words but also your mind—and even to consider whether you need to be writing something at all, or at least at this moment.
Borrowing from Georg Christoph Lichtenberg he talks about the power and potential of the waste book. This allows us to write more and share better.
I’d urge you to focus on first doing the work yourself before you move to the local context. Read up. Problematize your perspectives. Question your assumptions and biases. Listen to others.
Personally, I find sharing first in my own space before sharing elsewhere builds in a healthy level of friction. This also reminds me of Clay Shirky’s discussion of junking perfectly good workflows to maintain attention.
At the end of every year, I junk a lot of perfectly good habits in favor of awkward new ones.
Some of those changes stick, most don’t, but since every tool switch involves a period of disorientation and sub-optimal use, I have to make myself be willing to bang around with things I don’t understand until I do understand them. This is the opposite of a dream setup; the thing I can least afford is to get things working so perfectly that I don’t notice what’s changing in the environment anymore.
A step beyond sharing a tweet is posting a comment. I am not sure if it is the effort involved or the process behind it, but I have always valued a comment more than a tweet. In recent times, this has included posting comments from my own site (where applicable) or pasting in.
However, I much prefer how you capture it so much better.
My current workflow involves composing on my own site before syndicating elsewhere. Not ideal, but I find this friction builds in the space for reflection that does not necessarily exist when engaging via an app.
There is no specific reason I’m doing this, other than curiosity. I want to see what I miss, and how I will use my time. I think I’ll end up with more audio book and podcast listening time, and I’m hoping that I’ll write and meditate more. Time will tell.
I was really interested in how you start your day in the Twitter Search. Personally, I follow Twitter via a feed in Inoreader. This kind of feels like a semi-vacation, especially when you have the shock when opening the app again for whatever reason. You kind of forget about the additional features and functions that you miss out on. I certainly do not post information as much as I used to.
As a coup, the actions of the mob were a failure. In the wee hours of the morning, Joe Biden was once again declared the winner of the 2020 election. They didn’t stop shit. But as fodder for content, Jan. 6 was a resounding success.
You can see this most clearly in this photo, where the man in the god-knows-what costume, Jake Angeli, the so-called QAnon Shaman, is posing on the dais of the Senate, his friends carefully framing him to get the perfect shot. It is the Trump supporter equivalent of an Instagram influencer getting a photo beside a perfect mural.
Mike Caulfield takes this further, wondering if this is more than just confirmation bias, but rather a case of brand building?
can we really say the motivation is as simple as “confirmation bias”? Or would we be better off thinking of these dynamics around issues of personal brand-building, its incentives and disincentives?
This seems like the sort of topic that one might blog about?:
My fast food social media diet has been replaced by one managed around blogs, feeds and comments. I do sometimes feel I miss out on some things, but trust that if I need to know something that I will probably capture through some other means.
Facebook and Twitter represent the v1 of Social Networking; it’s a bad copy of the analog world, whereas v2 is something unique to digital, and a lot more promising.
To the extent that v2 social networking allows people to be themselves in all the different ways they wish to be, the more likely it is they become close to people who see other parts of the world in ways that differ from their own. Critically, though, unlike Facebook or Twitter, that exposure happens in an environment of trust that encourages understanding, not posturing.
It is interesting to think of alongside Ian O’Byrne’s discussion of building up your digital identity and Kin Lane’s exploration of personal API’s. It also seems in opposition to Dave Eggars’ TruYou. I wonder what this means for the notion of a ‘canonical’ self?
What is sad is that I see people move their writing output there, when they had a perfectly good blog. Although the same could be said abouttoo.
I am intrigued by the the notion of a hostage situation and wonder if this is the end game for all the platforms? I feel that this is Cory Doctorow’s point about adversarial interoperability?
Using our axes, we can analyze what makes decentralized logic distinct:
- Technology — decentralized
- Revenue model — donations/subscriptions
- Ideology — autonomy, privacy for everyone
- Governance — community
- Affordances — varied
Decentralizing governance means that a diverse array of communities with different norms and standards can arise. For example, Mastodon is home to instances with strict harassment policies while also being home to the instance that hosts the vitriolic and far-right Gab. This is sustainable because users and servers can choose who to connect with. So, when Gab forked Mastodon or ISIS recruiters joined Diaspora, most servers simply blocked all content originating from the offending servers and accounts. Gab users can see their server and the few that are willing to federate with it; the rest of the Mastodon universe has functionally closed themselves down to Gab and its content.
via Chris Aldrich
How the webring became the grassroots tool of choice for sharing content online in the ‘90s. The concept was social media before media was social.
Structurally, a webring has many parallels to the modern-day Twitter quote-tweet chain, a Russian nesting doll of sorts in which you’re encouraged to keep clicking on the tweets being quoted, with no end in sight. Depending on what you’re up to at the time, it’s a novel, entertaining, somewhat curated experience.
Smith discusses the pioneering work of Sage Weil, as well as the association with Bomis, the website that led to the development of Wikipedia.
In some ways, Wikipedia’s success as a concept benefited from the same feedback-loop dynamics that a webring does. It’s a site that rewards clicking, and becomes more valuable the further down the rabbit hole you go. It becomes like a game, almost. That, in its own way, is a dynamic that Wikipedia borrowed from Bomis and other webring-driven networks.
This is a useful piece alongside.
Design can’t solve all of our problems. Users still need to decide to make good use of the tools available to them. But as we spend more time on social media platforms, it’s important to recognize the strengths of their effects on us. Platforms can mimic and codify the limitations of our offline epistemic environments by only connecting us with people we already know (and giving us the option to filter them out when it’s uncomfortable). Or they can encourage productive epistemic friction by pushing us to consider who to engage with, what topics to avoid, and for how long, so that we consciously shape our own epistemic environments.
Social media is a video game and Parler is a map without enemies to defeat. So, no, Parler will not catch on. Just as Gab never caught on. But we can let these miserable con artists pretend for a while! See you guys when we all migrate to the next free speech platform.
We are witnessing one of the most important battles of our times: not just the electoral one, but the battle between the power and importance of our institutions and of facts, and the self-interested misrepresentation of the truth.
The skirmishes are without precedent. Television networks actually took down and cut the feed of a US President as he gave a speech of countless untruths. Twitter now routinely deletes his tweets. Social media platforms suspend the accounts of his high-profile surrogates.
This is a moment of reckoning, the first time that a civil society has genuinely asserted itself over the jungle of social media and the ecosystem in which Trump has thrived and that he has so effectively used.
Learn about the most popular social media apps these days – descriptions, history, user population data, and more. Updated frequently!
It is necessary to re-frame social media as something more than a mere “tool”. Rather than simply leave it to former tech industry insiders to spell out the ills of social media in documentaries like The Social Dilemma, we must engage with thinkers from a diverse range of backgrounds to look to the historical conditions of social media’s origins, while always questioning the economics and cultural politics of its global dissemination. We must personally examine how our own thoughts and actions are subtly shaped by social media’s design, while taking time to listen to marginalized individuals and communities who are impacted the most by the violence produced through social media today. And by seeing technology as a relation, by sharing responsibility in this way, we lift the burden of fixing the problem from the individual user alone, and discard the moralizing discourses such a burden brings.
This is why I find approaches like Ian Guest’s research into the potentials associated with Twitter in regards to teacher professional development interesting. It adds to the knowledge about the topic, but does not promise to be the whole knowledge.
Ultimately, this omission of experts and lack of nuance results in The Social Dilemma feeling like a missed opportunity. On the plus side, it informs a wide audience about issues like surveillance, persuasive design practices, and the spread of misinformation online, which may encourage them to hold big technology companies accountable. But who gets to convey this information and how it is framed are also crucial. Amplifying voices who have always had a seat at the table and continuing to ignore those who haven’t will not lead us any closer to resolving the dilemma the film claims to present.
This documentary, which will undoubtedly reach a global audience being on Netflix (itself a key cog within the technology industry), could have amplified such voices. It could have also given space to critical internet and media scholars like Safiya Noble, Sarah T. Roberts, and Siva Vaidhyanathan, just to name a few, who continue to write about how broader structural inequalities are reflected in and often amplified by the practices of big technology companies.
This is something that Maria Farrell also touches on this in regards to the ‘prodigal techbros‘.
The prodigal tech bro doesn’t want structural change. He is reassurance, not revolution. He’s invested in the status quo, if we can only restore the founders’ purity of intent. Sure, we got some things wrong, he says, but that’s because we were over-optimistic / moved too fast / have a growth mindset. Just put the engineers back in charge / refocus on the original mission / get marketing out of the c-suite. Government “needs to step up”, but just enough to level the playing field / tweak the incentives. Because the prodigal techbro is a moderate, centrist, regular guy. Dammit, he’s a Democrat. Those others who said years ago what he’s telling you right now? They’re troublemakers, disgruntled outsiders obsessed with scandal and grievance. He gets why you ignored them. Hey, he did, too. He knows you want to fix this stuff. But it’s complicated. It needs nuance. He knows you’ll listen to him. Dude, he’s just like you…
via Bill Fitzgerald
Ian O’Byrne also wrote a similar reflection lately in which he wonders if we need to take a step back:
We spend time teaching youth how to engage in digital practices and many times this is to prepare them to engage, connect, and participant in online spaces. Is this what we really want? Is this the type of future that we want for youth?
Maybe we have it all wrong.
Just because we could…doesn’t mean that we should.
I often come back to Venkatesh Rao’s piece on the.
I do not regret that time, but it is not necessarily something that I miss. My fast food social media diet has been replaced by one managed around blogs, feeds and comments. I do sometimes feel I miss out on some things, but trust that if I need to know something that I will probably capture through some other means.
A couple of hypotheticals I’ll throw into the pot to see what bubbles to the surface.
1. What would happen (for you) if Twitter’s ‘fail whale’ reappeared tomorrow and suddenly Twitter was gone?
2. What if you deactivated your original account and started afresh? Knowing what you know and bearing in mind what you wrote in this post, how would you do things differently, if at all? Is ‘making Twitter great again’ within your capacity?
3. If Twitter is broken beyond repair and neither Mastodon nor micro.blog quite cut it, if you had the wherewithall, what would you design as a replacement? What would it need to have or be able to do?
Thankfully there are some people still out there blogging.