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What if the only human interactions that really matter are your “in person” relationships?

I know. I’m writing a blog. I get the irony. But every time I unplug these days and have good times with regular analog people, it feels like a better choice than posting something on social media.

Facebook feels like a connection… but isn’t it just another form of reality TV? How did billions of people sign on to a daily ritual where we each spin ourselves to look cool and soak up the propaganda of others who are happy to post their performances for Mark Zuckerberg to exploit?

It blows my mind that the biggest internet media companies get the majority of their original content for free. YouTube and Facebook figured out that if you felt like a star, that would be enough compensation. This has caused a fundamental shift away from curated art as entertainment.

Oh sure, you can subscribe to HBO, Netflix, etc and see quality. But if you ain’t got that money to spend (and many don’t), you’re living in a circus of low brow media.

Now, everyone’s a celebrity in their own mind and on their own wall. It doesn’t matter whether you have 50 friends or 50,000. Some talent, or no talent. The history of your life in words and photos has been signed over to Facebook, and they will gladly sell access to the highest bidder.

What is the value of a “Like, or a Comment?”

It’s a dopamine lollipop – a shot of dopamine, the powerful neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. It says we’ve connected. Without the effort required for an actual conversation.

So we keep clicking, pressing the lever for the dog biscuit while neglecting more important things, like spending time with real people, or enjoying higher quality art.

So it’s like popcorn or cotton candy. Not very nutritious. The bigger problem is that there are no standards. And until that happens, we do live in a post-truth world.

Did you see what happened in Myanmar in 2014?

A Facebook post accused the Muslim owner of the Sun Teashop, falsely, of raping a female Buddhist employee.This led to rioting and torching of vehicles, and two men—one Muslim and one Buddhist—were killed and around 20 others injured.

https://www.wired.com/story/how-facebooks-rise-fueled-chaos-and-confusion-in-myanmar/

And the reason Wired waited until now to tell this story?

I’ve just returned from a wilderness fishing expedition in Ontario. 5 guys on an island only accessible by floatplane. We shared a cabin off the grid. We fished, paddled, rowed, hiked, cooked, cleaned, told stories, and got along better than we would on social media. Because we were face to face, in the real world.

While there, I read a book.

Faces. Book. Very peaceful.

Bob

Bob Rivers

Bob Rivers

Radio Host from age 14 to Present. Currently blogging, planning to launch a new radio show later this year.

Listen to 30 years worth of Twisted Tunes at bobrivers.com

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