Like many, I am deeply concerned with the impact social media has had on our brains, our attention, and our society. I have a slightly different take on what the root of the problem is, though.

While those worried about distraction, polarization, algorithms, and censorship all have a right to be concerned, I think the real issue is deeper and more fundamental.

By creating a hyperconnected network for information flow, we seem to have kicked off a negative ratchet that leans on several compounding forces to fundamentally change the identities of those who carelessly venture onto the modern internet.

In those solo podcast, I provide a soliloquy on my concerns with the information ecosystem created by social media.

Listen Here

Show Notes:

  • [00:10] I might as well pile on with everyone else criticizing social media companies.
  • [08:55] How the internet erodes trust in institutions and kicks off a negative ratchet of polarization, outrage, and epistemic nihilism
  • [14:21] Is the criticism of social media an unjustified moral panic? Most other new communications technologies were criticized widely at the time.
  • [20:31] Why I think “filter bubbles” are overrated—and why viewing alternate realities through the lens of identity and music fandom may be more helpful
  • [30:44] The internet creates an environment that evolves apex predator memes mimetic concepts
  • [38:31] Almost everyone recognizes that there’s a problem with social media. Not everyone agrees on what the problem is or what to do about it. Where should we go from here?

Links and Resources Mentioned