Two Arguments Against Social Media

Two of the most convincing arguments against social media that I’ve found come from two unlikely sources: computer scientists. Below are several links to talks by Cal Newport and Jaron Lanier, two very different personalities. And yet they agree on the corrosive effect social media has on us, both individually and socially. The places where these two arguments overlap are the topics that really catch my attention.

1. Economic: Our individual participation in social media deems us the product of the social media system. Advertisers are the real consumers/customers. They pay to consume us the users.

2. Productivity: Social media is an obstacle to our productivity, our creative output, and our overall personal growth.

3. Personal: Social media inherently requires us to cede a considerable amount of our personal information to a corporate-controlled internet. Moreover, that means we are giving up our self-worth. We too easily put our personal data and our self-hood (i.e., our dignity) for sale, and for very little (really, no) beneficial return.


Cal Newport on NPR

Jaron Lanier on PBS NewsHour

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