Social Media Strike!

This weeks post was supposed to be about my Linux on the desktop/laptop test, but I ran into something quite interesting so I have to push that topic to the next post. I found a post from Larry Sanger about a social media strike to give visibility to the bad things the big social media cooperations are doing to our privacy. And since this strike will be already on the 4th and the 5th of July I better write about it before.

I will have no problem taking part in a strike against the big social media, I am not using them anyway. The only problem I may have will be with YouTube. But since it is only two days I will likely survive. Facebook and Twitter is the other two giants. I still have accounts at both but I never login anymore. In fact as soon as I can transfer my company Facebook page to someone else, I will delete that account. And the same fate will happen to my twitter account.

The reason I am highlighting this strike is because I think it is missing one really crucial argument. And that is the bad thing social media is doing to our brains, our productivity and our society. Our brains are using a substance called dopamine. This is a sort of chemical reward system that the brain is using to help us doing things that is good for us. It also, among other things, stimulate our need to search for things. Social media through its likes, notification and glossy content will induce a dopamine release that will then push us to continue searching, viewing and interacting to get another dopamine hit. It becomes a sort of addiction. The endless timelines of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube traps you in a constant dopamine loop.

A woman waiting a train looking at her phone
We are instantly looking at our devices. But how is this impacting our brains?

The system is also pushing for instant gratification. It means that the time from an action is performed until the reward in form of a dopamine hit is short. This affects us as individuals and makes us expecting to see shorter and short time to reach a goal and get our reward. In turn this makes us giving up on hopes, dreams and aspirations if we do not see that we instantly are moving in the right direction.

The intended goal with this strike is to give visibility to the issues that are becoming more and more apparent with these Social Networks. All from the privacy issues to the way they are impacting our society negatively. With enough strikers we may find the interest of main stream media and make these issues more widely known. Please join me in a social media strike on the 4th and 5th of July!