Friday, March 12, 2021

Viruses of the mind

Right now, it almost seems as if the social media world was designed to spread viruses of the mind. And that’s probably because it was. 

While in the earlier days of the Internet ideas spread faster than before, today in the walled gardens of social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, or especially Twitter, ideas spread much, much faster, and with less time for rumination or consideration, than ever before. 

And that’s by design, as social media companies use algorithms that promote posts based on “engagement” – which typically means users’ emotional reactions – and “share” buttons allow each user to pass them on to hundreds or thousands of friends, who can then do the same. 

This repeated sharing and resharing can produce a chain reaction reminiscent of a nuclear reactor with the control rods removed.
Source: The Social Media Upheaval by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

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