by Peter Trinh
The wider effect of this recently released Netflix documentary is the point it makes about how all forms of social media, (including e-mail) manipulate and influence all those that use it; feeding upon our vulnerabilities including loneliness and different levels of isolation.
In my last article “Coping in Current Times”, (where I proposed taking a break from social media); it stated that studies have shown that basically, we start to realize how many subtle effects we experience that won’t become noticeable until we have been away from it (for at least a while). The actual mechanics are explained in the documentary.
And it’s not just social networks. Even plain ol’ “Google-ing” yields distorted results; and 86% of all websites contain tracking code by Google and Facebook where they maintain and add to a profile of you, even if you do not use any of the company’s offerings.
I ran an experiment where I assembled a sort of “Internet filter” (think water filter but instead of water, think of removing unnecessary bits from the stream of the internet). Even at the lightest and most conservative filtering, the performance of my internet improved by 35% across the board!
Another example of these far reaching effects is that in our last few elections (where savvy campaigns influenced, reinforced and played upon our common feelings of not being represented by our leadership; the erosion of our democratic system and more), the narrative only further polarized and divided us by presenting to us different facets and colors of “truth”.
So, where do we go from here? I think as with all dilemmas we face in life; the first step involves us humbling ourselves to take an honest inner inventory.
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