SOCIAL MEDIA: Everyone on planet Earth is a moment away from experiencing its downside

Palihapitiya: Social Media is “ripping apart” society

A partial transcript of this video, which captures some crucial comments by Chamath Palihapitiya, is posted below.

Who is: Chamath Palihapitiya? A venture capitalist, Golden State Warriors Co-owner, and former Facebook VP of User Growth.  Here’s what he says with utmost seriousness:

08:43  There was a hoax on WhatsApp, where in some village in India people were afraid that their kids were going to be kidnapped. Lynchings happened as a result. People were like vigilantes running around thinking they found the person, and they … I mean seriously?!  That’s what we’re dealing with.  Imagine taking that to the extreme, where you know bad actors can now manipulate large swaths of people to do anything they want.  It’s a really, really, bad state of affairs, and we [unknowingly] compound the problem, right? We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection because we get rewarded [via a dopamine rush] in these short-term signals, “hearts” (♥), “Likes” ☑, “thumbs up” (??), and we conflate that with value, and with truth, when instead it is fake, brittle popularity.

09:55  That’s short-term and it leaves you even more — and admit it — vacant and empty before you did it because then it forces you into this vicious cycle where you’re like, what’s the next thing I need to do now because I need it back. Think about that compounded by two billion people, and then think about how people react to the perceptions of others. It’s really bad!  So you’re training your brain here whether you think it or not, whether you know it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not.  Acknowledge that these things where you’re spending hours a day are rewiring your psychology and physiology in a way that now you have to use to go and figure out how to be productive in the commercial world.

10:35  So if you don’t change this, you are going to get the same behaviors over here. Change this. There’s a reason why Steve Jobs was like anti-social media. I’m telling you I’m not on these f*cking apps.  I’m not him, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am proactively trying to rewire my brain chemistry to not be short-term focused.


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