I love how the internet allows the entire Earth to connect, communicate and work together no matter where you are.
However I am not too fond of centralized corporations abusing their powers and providing these services at the cost of complete disregard for user's privacy and interests.
Building profiles on people. Storing logs of every message you write to whomever you write. Your location, your contacts details, your likes and opinions. Storing everything in a data center forever and ever, in case such information will need to be used.
It's awful, having everything you do, monitored and analyzed. Checking whether what you say or think is deemed right by these authorities. Suppressing thoughts and feelings to what you should feel or think about is horrible and is in no way the world I want to live in.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to this little mess we got ourselves into.
Social networks are a wonderful thing as they do allow us to achieve more wonderful things faster and better by connecting everyone together. It's just that connecting everyone under one roof whose house's rules are chosen by few people is not the best way to do it.
Facebook has recruited one of the world’s top AI teams, led by Yann LeCun. Their work and Google's are the equivalent of tobacco companies engineering cigarettes to ensure that nicotine hits a smoker's brain more quickly. Facebook and other social networks are the cigarette companies of the mind. Cigarettes blackened our lungs with tar, and social media blacken our brains with distraction, alienation, envy, and loneliness.
Social media networks will become ever more addictive, and by using AI to increase the click-through rate on the ads, they will squeeze ever more money out of their addicts. AI will be essential to the "capture and sale of attention," as Tim Wu puts it, walking users from curiosity to the cash register more and more efficiently.
Capitalism is an accelerant for addictive behavior, and we are only just realizing how unhappy people become as a result of the marketplace’s newest and most insidious products. What's worse, the necessary functions performed by our phones and the Internet are fatefully tangled with the apps that addict us. They put the heroin next to the tap water.
Generally you'd lose contact with all these people over time as you mature and just naturally drift apart. No shame in that, the ones you do want to keep in touch with you'd make a real effort for. Now it's so easy to just send a "like" , "congratulations!" or "Happy birthday!" that you find yourself very loosely connected to a bunch of people you don't want to be but feel like everyone else is still in "contact" so you don't want to miss out.
When you realize that Instagram is someones curated life, you realize how manufactured their profile actually is. What you see is what they want you to see.
The sad truth is that friendly face isn’t Facebook’s true face; it’s a sham, just like it’s a sham to sit on a tractor so people will think you’re tall. Mark Zuckerberg uses your most intimate connections, the literal faces of the people you love, to fool you into thinking that he’s not picking your pocket and taking a wrecking ball to our media, to the integrity of our society, and to democracy itself.