How to fix your anti-social media
|Digitally Well||Jan 28|
I’ve always been a creature of the internet. When I was in middle school, online forums and msn conversations were an outlet for my frustrations at school. During this time, the internet was actually a positive influence in my life. What changed? Obviously the nature of the social internet; it melded with our irl existence rather than providing an escape from it. I think the larger part was, however; I became a lurker. When those close knit communities fizzled out, I never participated actively again.
New research is showing that excessive use of screens is not a problem in itself- it’s how we’re using them that’s the problem. One study suggests that when one is engaging in a high amount of self-disclosure (venting, connecting with others) phone use is actually correlated with less stress and loneliness. In contrast, those who use the platforms for non-communicative purposes (passively following profiles) were shown to exhibit increased social comparison and decreased wellbeing. This is why my use of internet forums as a child was beneficial, and my time spent stalking people’s Insta profiles in college was not.
As much as we rag on it, social media is not the devil. Yes, platforms are designed to keep your attention, but once you have cultivated enough awareness to better discern how to spend your time online, and social media actually adds something to your life, using in moderation is fine. This New York Times piece tackles how to make social media less depressing. TDLR; unfollow everyone who doesn’t contribute to your digital wellbeing.
In the News
How do we avoid a repeat of the 2016 Russian election interference? According to The Rolling Stone, we’re not as secure as we should be. Even without sophisticated cyber warfare tactics, plenty of harm can be done.“The target is the minds of the American people.” What can we do to protect ourselves from disinformation?
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