Use Social Media, Don’t Let It Use You

If you use Facebook, and instant messenger services like WhatsApp, this article is for you.

Increasingly, Facebook and WhatsApp are becoming the primary means of digital communications for many people.  News and links and articles and soundbites and jokes and health advice and whatnot are circulated through these by one’s friends or acquaintances.

But the key word is “circulated”.  Almost nobody is writing anything original.  People, like sheep, are forwarding cute or “interesting” or “life-saving” messages or photos or clickbait articles that they have been forwarded from someone else.

I see too many people get all their wisdom (!) and information (!) from these forwards.

Don’t be one of those people.

Facebook and the clickbait media sites are after ad revenue, not after journalism, or factual accuracy, or unbiased coverage.  Frequently they indulge in laughable conspiracy theories (“Not even a single jew died on 9/11”), dubious medical advice (“in case of a heart attack, cough three times!”), and blue-pill relationship advice (“Click to find how John became a wonderful husband to his working wife!”).

If you subsist on this kind of media diet, soon you become an ill-informed, brainwashed, opinionated fool who has no clue about the real world, and who sees the world through the media companies.

Choose your sources of information and wisdom carefully.  Don’t let Facebook be your teacher.

Similar advice goes for mass media, television and mainstream movies.  Once in a while, watch them for entertainment.  But understand that they contain many subtle messages to influence and brainwash you.

You can avoid being brainwashed only if you understand modern media and how it works, and if you develop a keen sense of discrimination between facts and bullshit.

In our opinion, the right use of social media is to share photos, something original that you wrote, your life updates and to do event planning, or to seek some specific information.  For all else, look elsewhere.  Do not subject yourself, and your friends, to distractify, buzzfeed, scoopwhoop, storypick, and their ilk.

Protect your mind from pollution, and “viral content” shared via social media can be a highly addictive pollutant.

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