Your post went live 45 seconds ago. Any comments? Likes? Any shares or dms? How much time can you give to social media, how much attention, this is the product these companies want. You are the product. It’s said “If your not paying for the product you are the product”
The problem lies in that you don’t know when you become the product. You go on the App Store, you download instagram, and it’s free. All of these apps are free. But they are not. All these apps are payed for by advertisers. But why would an advertiser pay for these companies? They pay in exchange for showing their product to us. While personally, I only follow 70 people on Instagram I believe social media is a issue.
What do these companies sell? They sell certainty. They sell on the fact that you will keep your day to day patterns, you’ll check up on the same people you check day after day. They have all that information about you. They can tailor adds to fit what you might like. They can keep you scrolling on your instagram for hours.
In any given month, approximately 1.28 BILLION people are active on Facebook, that is equivalent to the entire population of India, the world’s second most-populous country. (convinceandconvert.com) And Instagram, has 200 million manual users. (about.instagram.com) We’ve created a world where online connection has become our single connection but there’s a sneaky third person (manipulation) which is pairing up those people.
Technology has reached check-mate on humanity. (The Social Dilemma)
Your social media may be a tool but if something is a tool it’s sitting there waiting patiently. On the other hand, if something’s not a tool if its it’s demanding your attention, then it becomes a problem. (The Social Dilemma) If you start off using social media to improve your company it makes it a tool, but when you began comparing your products to other peoples, when you check every few minutes how many likes you have, it can turn into a problem.
We now have markets that trade in human futures. The internet & social media companies are the richest companies in the history of human nature. (The Social Dilemma) They have more information about us that has ever been had before. There are only two industries that call there people “users” illegal drugs & software.(The Social Dilemma)
There is also a comparison issue at play. Many social media companies three main goals are 1. Engagement goal to keep you coming back. 2. Growth goal- to help you like it so much you tell your friends. 3. Advertising goal- for the social media companies to get paid. When you invite more people on to the platform and they create accounts you began to follow those people along with other people you already know. In order to help you spend more time on that app certain pictures will be put directly on your page to most likely feed your self doubt causing comparison, which in turn will make you spend more time buying clothes or changing your appearance in some way I.e. money. Negative comments or messages also come into play here. We were meant to be aware of what people in our close circle think of us, we were not meant to be aware of what 2000 people (or more) think of us, and these feelings lead many people to serious issues. (The Social Dilemma)
Jaren Lanier states “It’s the gradual and slight, imperceptible, change in your behavior and perception- that’s the product. Changing how you think, what you do, who you are.”
It’s easy to not notice the issue we are facing. It’s easy to discount the fact that we are changing for something as simple as a tiny icon on your home screen that is Instagram but it all comes back to validation and not getting that from the people around you.
So what can you do? Limit who you follow, turn off notifications, or an extreme limit is the elimination of social media all together. If we ignore the issue on a problem and don’t do anything that issue grows into a catastrophe. Let’s not let our social media get to that place. A world worth living in doesn’t need to include instagram.