As of lately, it has been coming more and more apparent to me, how much and how often I’m using my smartphone. It’s something I interact far more with than any person any day. I feel conditioned, not in an outrageous sense but in a way that I have been programmed over the past couple years into continuously feeding into the addiction that social media brings.
I have begun analysing my habits a little further, after listening to an intriguing interview conducted on Sam Harris’s podcast “Waking Up”, where he speaks with Turkish writer Zeynep Tufekci on the act of persuasion and control in today’s society. And although interesting, somewhat unsettling.
Ranging from a few key topics discussed such as cybersecurity, social persuasion, and Authoritarian manipulation, the act of social media and the way it co-ops our attention resonated with me most. I feel this is such an important matter that is seemingly flying over the heads of millions worldwide. The internet and social media are what directly fuels the question of how we as people are persuaded and controlled by media, due to the countless hours spent on different social platforms daily.
Smartphones have moulded the world we know today, which has allowed for anyone to persuade us in any way, shape, or form. And it’s because of these social platforms we have been made out to be extremely vulnerable to the things we see online.
The goal of these social mediums in this age is to gain the attention of consumers and invest time into things of lesser importance. furthermore, the addiction keeps us coming back and creates the consistent ability for anyone to manipulate anyone.
A comment made in the podcast mentions how “One is more likely to notice the sad or angry face in a crowd rather then someone smiling”. Which sparked my interest as to why this. And I realized that society craves conflict, which helps in producing the need people have for social media, as formulating an opinion different from someone else consistently grabs the attention of others.
Take a moment to reflect on your own social media use, how often do you feel as if you are being manipulated by others?
In a recent interview conducted on Sam Harris’s Waking Up Podcast, he features a Turkish writer and philosopher Zeynep Tufekci, who
I am a social guy. I deeply enjoy day to day conversations, whether it be face to face, or over the phone. 3