Jaron Lanier is one of the leading technological thinkers of our time. He is a a pioneer in Virtual Reality and the Internet. He is also an accomplished musician and the inspiration for the Pierce Brosnan character in the Stephen King film The Lawnmower man….
He has written several other books on how technology has been developing such as Dawn of the New Everything and I am a big fan. So I was keen to read his latest book, entitled 10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (the title itself is a fairly obvious plot spoiler for the book).
If you are familiar with Jaron Lanier’s other books, you will be familiar with his theme that the Internet has become less open and is heading in a less than ideal direction. We are losing a lot of the promise and potential as private companies alter it to suit their agenda, regardless of the long term impact on people and politics. Indeed, the tools are deliberately engineered to make them addictive to users. As you might expect, Lanier has a solution to the ills of social media – quit!
The full list of arguments is below….
- You are losing your free will.
- Quitting social media is the most finely targeted way to resist the insanity of our times.
- Social media is making you into an asshole.
- Social media is undermining truth.
- Social media is making what you say meaningless.
- Social media is destroying your capacity for empathy.
- Social media is making you unhappy.
- Social media doesn’t want you to have economic dignity.
- Social media is making politics impossible.
- Social media hates your soul.
If you want an impassioned and well-argued critique on each of these, this book is it. Just don’t expect the author to respond on Facebook or Twitter….