View Full Version : Social media as a control mechanism -as deep as humanity itself (study)

21st July 2019, 19:03
To be as a fine filter, between all people. Compartmentalized into individual boxes, with controlled input and output, for each individual.

Tailoring the feeds. Google is accused of doing this. for good reasons. They are. Same for Facebook.

I was aware of it as a coming problem, with the advent of the BBS systems back in the late 80's and the early 90's, where I was a contributor to the genesis of all of that pre-internet build up.

I pondered that... in the future, we would find ourselves being drip fed and given our own tailored data. As the data pathway enlarged, as the pipe became faster, bigger..as the technology advanced..this was the inevitable end point. This would happen as a control mechanism, a filter, a sculpting of sorts, as a minimum -- simply due to the capacity being inherent in the situation, the situation that was looking to unfold.

It was obvious as this is what we were individually seeking out in that pre-internet. We were extending ourselves, our reach, our feedback..we tailored it all. To frame it (in time)..a year or so after those more defined realizations and 'filling in the blanks'...I had received a pre-release copy for programmers, of Windows Chicago (win 95) -- a full 18 months before it was available to the public.

The subject at hand, is this study showing how apes that view together, they bond. They bond together.

Not at all surprising. In hindsight, for some.

The great takeaway, is the separation, the divide and conquer that happens via social media. How social media is killing the functional fabric of human society and culture.

Social media is NOT your friend. it is the opposite. We yearn for connection, but the social media actually gives us less.

This is writ large across the core of this very real study.


Great apes found to bond when watching videos together (https://phys.org/news/2019-07-great-apes-bond-videos.html)

A pair of researchers affiliated with Duke University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has found that great apes tend to bond with one another when they watch a video together. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Wouter Wolf and Michael Tomasello describe their work involving studying chimpanzees and bonobos as they watched videos together and how they behaved afterward.

Most people have experienced the feeling of bonding with another person, or even several people, when watching a movie or TV show together. Until now, behavioral scientists have believed such feelings were restricted to humans. In this new effort, Wolf and Tomasello have shown that great apes have similar experiences.

The experiments involved seating pairs of chimps together in front of a television so that they could watch a video, and the researchers took measurements of bonding-type behavior after the video was over. They then compared the behavior they observed with a control group. They report that chimps that watched the videos together engaged in more bonding-type behaviors.

The videos watched by the chimps were of other chimps engaging in various activities—prior research had shown it was their favorite subject. And the chimps were encouraged to remain in place watching the video by feeding them grape juice. Bonding-type interactions were described as touching, how long they stayed in proximity with one another and how much they paid attention to one another. The researchers also used eye-tracking systems to show that the chimps were actually watching the videos. The researchers also paired up bonobos in the same fashion, and also human-chimp pairs. They report that in all instances, increased bonding was observed for those participating in the shared social events.

The researchers suggest their results show that great apes are capable of social bonding when participating in shared events. They suggest that such types of social bonding have deeper evolutionary roots than has been realized. They also suggest that their findings hint at what is lost as humans cease participating in shared social events, preferring instead to engage privately in social media.

22nd July 2019, 03:07
There certainly are some upsides of using social media "today' but they seem insignificant when compared to the downsides. People are losing their ability to actually socialize in person, anxiety and depression are at an all-time high, fake and misleading information is everywhere, twitter has become a cesspool for hate, the list just goes on and on. That said I believe it will take some time before we will eventually work this through. After all, people were afraid of books, trains, telegraph, telephone, television, computers, wi-fi and more.

One of the many problems with social media is that these platforms have found a way for us to aggressively participate in our own dumbing down. At the present time, it truly is diminishing our ability to actually socialize. It will take years and possibly decades for us to understand what this constant flow of information (good and bad) really means to society. I don't even think that television technology has worked its way through society yet.

The problems with social media will arise when the Federal Government intervenes and regulates these companies under the auspices of helping society. Most people think that Google is a search engine controlling the flow of information. The truth is they are nothing more than an advertising firm. They found a way to control information to sell advertising. More than 70% of its revenue are generated through advertising.

The freedom of speech in the United States is regarded as one of fundamental human rights and freedoms. In accordance with the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the freedom of speech shall not be restricted (“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”).

However, the courts ruled that freedom of advertising, which constitutes a part of freedom of speech, can be regulated more strictly than any other form of expression. Thus, state authorities are entitled to control the distribution of false or misleading advertising, advertising of illegal goods or services, and truthful advertising, if public interests are in question.

The government has a pathway it can follow to control search engines and social media developers. If the federal government steps in to regulates these entities as utilities I am afraid the damage will be considerable and longlasting. Social media and the flow of information will work its way through society if the control and regulations are kept to a minimum. Of course, there will be a considerable amount of damage along the way but the end result to be better for everyone.

22nd July 2019, 05:11
James Corbett seems to be addressing a similar concern with his latest article, although he might be speaking of a wider phenomenon:

Information Overload is a Weapon of Control
Corbett 07/21/2019

Do you feel confused? Listless? Overwhelmed? Have you ever found yourself scrolling through news feeds and flicking mindlessly through social media posts with a strange mixture of outrage, dread, and boredom? Is your disgust at the thought of going online consistently overwhelmed by your compulsion to pick up your fondleslab?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. More and more people are finding it harder and harder to put their devices down, even though it leaves them feeling restless, angry or empty. As a result, some are seeking ways to disconnect and unplug from the 24/7 siren song of never-ending news feeds, instant messaging and social media distractions, whether by ditching their smartphone (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/dumb-phones-sales-rise-disconnect-technology-mindfulness-social-media-a8499086.html) in favor of a “dumb” phone or taking device-free holidays (https://collegecandy.com/2018/08/02/heres-how-to-have-a-device-free-vacation-still-live-your-best-life/).

Yes, we all succumb to information overload, and yes, we all need a break from the online maelstrom every now and then.

But what if this state of information overload—the malaise we experience when we find ourselves paralyzed by a ceaseless stream of noise and nonsense—is not a mere byproduct of this vaunted “Information Age” but the actual point of it? Has it ever occurred to you that these devices have been weaponized against us? Or that the confusion and exhaustion we feel after spending an hour mindlessly scrolling on our smartphone is the effect that this weaponized technology has on our psyche?

And, more to the point, what can we do to protect ourselves from these daggers of digital distraction?
From here: https://www.corbettreport.com/information-overload-is-a-weapon-of-control/
Or here: https://www.minds.com/CorbettReport/blog/information-overload-999467832663445504

22nd July 2019, 05:54
James Corbett seems to be addressing a similar concern with his latest article, although he might be speaking of a wider phenomenon:

Information Overload is a Weapon of Control
Corbett 07/21/2019

From here: https://www.corbettreport.com/information-overload-is-a-weapon-of-control/
Or here: https://www.minds.com/CorbettReport/blog/information-overload-999467832663445504

Brought to mind an old song I remember pondering when it first came out, concurrent for me with newly discovering the internet and the www. I was awed at the time with the implications of the vast information and connections newly opening to everyone, interactively and freely even! I found this all too amazing - comparing it almost to a newly expanded type of brain/neuron system opening to humanity; perhaps even the first, more crude, physical manifestation of our next step in human evolution, which will be our acquisition of truly telepathic communications. (like the sci-fi writers and futurists foresaw in most all of their higher intelligence depictions)

But I didn't immediately consider the darker sides of the phenom, and I pondered on this song which came out in 1993, as at that time, I just couldn't get enough information:
But luckily, I did get the insight within a few years about my own key need for Balance. When things started getting a little too "wacky", I clearly got the message to "Turn It Off", and I rather found it comical at how simple this solution actually is. Like "Doh!" Slap to the head... Turn it off.
Balance - my keyword since then.