I really 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 centralised 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 centre forever and ever, in case such information will need to be used.
It's really awful, having everything you do, monitored and analysed. 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 behaviour, 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.
- FB simply prolonged relationships that should’ve died out a long time ago naturally
- 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 really don't want to be but feel like everyone else is still in "contact" so you don't want to miss out.