Quote: The Exploitative Nature of Social Media on Our Attention

The Exploitative Nature of Social Media on Our Attention

Cal Newport in his first episode of his excellent podcast, Deep Work:

Social media is about the exploitative extraction of people’s attention and information to try to grab that value and ossify into stock price for a very small number of stock holders. Social media is about how do we get you captured in our ecosystem and spending way more time than you know is useful or you know, is healthy looking at the screen, swiping these things, taking time away from things that are more valuable. Why? Because we can get a little bit more value out of your time and you have less time with your kids, you’re not get in shape. You spend less time pursuing hobbies, they’re useful to you if you spend less time in self reflection and the contemplative arts are gonna give you a resilient foundation for like you’re doing all of that a lot less. But you know what, we had this Instagram endless feed calibrated just right, that you can’t help scrolling and looking a little bit more. It’s 50 extra cents of value we got out of you this afternoon. That’s what I dislike. I think that is a corruption of the democratic potential of the internet. And I think it’s something that we can be very wary of while still embracing the bulk of what makes the internet so great.

Episode 01 - Deep Questions with Cal Newport

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