Is Social Media Good or Bad?

I’ve grown more concerned about the adverse effects of social media over the past year, resulting in my disengagement from Facebook and LinkedIn. And I’m flirting with the idea of disengaging from Twitter, too. I’ve opined on how I’d keep distance between social media and young children if I were of the age to have youngsters at home. And I worry about the online world you, Vera (my granddaughter), may encounter and all the ways others will try to manipulate you and sap you of your individuality and independent thought. And make your life worse. Which led me to Jaron Lanier’s new book, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.

Lanier isn’t someone I can dismiss lightly. He’s a deep thinker. Highly intelligent. And concerned.

I won’t attempt to summarize Lanier’s arguments here. The book is a short, easy read for anyone who’s interested in the topic. But perhaps I can whet your appetite by listing Lanier’s 10 chapter headings:

  1. You are losing your free will
  2. Quitting social media is the most finely targeted way to resist the insanity of our times
  3. Social media is making you into an asshole
  4. Social media is undermining truth
  5. Social media is making what you say meaningless
  6. Social media is destroying your capacity for empathy
  7. Social media is making you unhappy
  8. Social media doesn’t want you to have economic dignity
  9. Social media is making politics impossible
  10. Social media hates your soul

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