Mr. Horn

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Mr. Horn

“I don’t have any social media account other than a Facebook account in which I use a fake name unassociated with any personal identifying information. Connecting people and sharing — I see it all as marginal at best in comparison to the detrimental effects social media is having on society and on individuals.

The way these social media sites generate money is by creating engagement which is a product of entertaining, rather than informing, people. What creates the most engagement — what keeps people clicking, keeps them liking, keeps their eyes on whatever content they’re served — is not education and challenges to their ideas, but rather confirmations of their pre-existing biases. And it’s lead to people misinforming themselves, propagandising themselves and placing themselves in filter bubbles (albeit unknowingly through algorithms). Even if these types of practices work on me, I’m not comfortable with submitting myself to them.

Social media has also given a platform, stage and audience to those with hateful messages. Hiding behind the guise of free speech, these companies have proliferated and profited from statements by racists, sexists and bigots — only choosing to take them down after they’ve gone viral and circulated to millions of followers. I think it’s a deep tragedy that we allow platforms (including Youtube, Instagram and Twitter) to exist in the 21st century that spread such hate throughout our society. There’s also more and more evidence to support the idea that social media leads to depression, anxiety and more bullying.

I view the smartphone as a tool that can be used positively or negatively. Using it for social media, I view, as having profound detrimental effects on society and on individuals — mental health included. Delete your account as soon as you can. The world is a better place without it.” — Mr. Horn

 

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