"Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now" by Jaron Lanier

 

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Title: Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
Author: Jaron Lanier
Start Date: 8/23/18
End Date: 8/24/18
# of Pages: 160
Edition: Henry Holt and Co. hardcover (2018)
ISBN: 9781250196682
Purchase: Amazon

Quick Take: plausible

Why I Chose It: Everyone could use more consideration when it comes to how we use new technology and services. At least I know I should be more intentional about it. This seemed like a good tool to help think through social media etc.

Quotes: (1) "Social media is biased, not to the Left or Right, but downward." (2) "When you're in a pack, social status and intrigues become more immediate than the larger reality. You become more like an operator, a politician, or a slave." (3) "Fake people [bots] are a cultural denial-of-service attack." (4) "Speaking through social media isn't really speaking at all. Context is applied to what you say after you say it, for someone else's purpose and profit. This changes what can be expressed." (5) "A though experiment can help expose how weird our situation has become. Can you imagine if Wikipedia showed different versions of entries to each person on the basis of a secret data profile of that person? Pro-Trump visitors would see an article completely different from the one shown to anti-Trump people, but there would be no accounting of all that was different or why. This might sound dystopian or bizarre, but it's similar to what you see in your BUMMER* feed. Content is chose and ads are customized to you, and you don't know how much has been changed for you, or why...This is an epochal development. The version of the world you are seeing is invisible to the people who misunderstand you, and vice versa." (6) "The people who run the BUMMER companies need never find out what brought you down. That is for you to know, your last privacy."

*Lanier defines BUMMER as "Behaviors of Users Modified, and Made into an Empire for Rent" as a way to summarize the main problem he sees with social media today.

Other Notes: I thought this book was going to basically argue "social media is bad for you so don't use it", but instead it is much more along the lines of "Google and Facebook are undermining the very fabric of society, demand something better by refusing to participate", which was a much more engaging argument to think through. Definitely worth the short time it takes to read it through!

 
BooksKarl Magnuson