Have you sacrificed your attention to feed algorithms?
When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind - C S Lewis
The problem is not our smartphones, or the internet which actually can be put into many other purposes, even if they are used for mass behaviour modification these days. The problem is the feed algorithms and the business model that is used by the platforms that uses these feed algorithms, so as to get the users glued into their online environments. People have unknowingly have become subjects for their mass behaviour tests, for which they are being monitored by these algorithms all the time. This business model which targets ad based on behaviour and shows the feed to increase the online activity which is controlled by secret feed algorithms is the root problem that our society has to battle now. These social media platforms have become the go to place for the manipulators when they need to tweak the behaviour of masses or when they have to turn the tide of people towards them. The effects of these can be seen in present day politics, business etc. You do not need to give up the internet or give up your smart devices to have full control over your thoughts, but just give up those platforms that use these constantly monitoring, behaviour modifying algorithms till these platforms come up with some new innovative business model other than earning through stealing our attention.
Feed algorithms are designed in such a way that people spend more time on these platforms, without them being aware of it and make millions of revenue from it. These algorithms constantly evolve to increase the usage time of people using the platform by infusing a sense of satisfaction through rewards(likes, engagement etc.) or by infusing a sense of hatred. This ability of the program to tweak the behaviour and mentality of people who have accounts in these platforms has led to these tools being used for mass manipulation of public. Primarily they have been using the matters related to religion, culture, ethnicity etc., to create a sense of hatred, fear and dilemma among the public.
These platforms cleverly hide the fact that they are being used as collection of mass user data by saying that they are actually evolving the way humans communicate. But the fact is that these platforms are doing more harm than good by using such habit tweaking algorithms. That is it is being used for other things more than for staying connected with friends and communication.
People use social media media because it is addictive, but they treat it as a medium which induces pleasure. It is actually the dopamine hits one gets while using these platforms because of the features that grab hold of the tribal behavior and mentality of human mind. People tend to use these platforms every now and then, when they get free time similar to a smoker searching for cigarettes very often.
These platforms create a sense of mob mentality at times, by isolating the experience of one person from another. This is true because the feed of one person is entirely different from another individual as the feed is shown after collecting their data and their interests.
These algorithms are most efficient in creating a different space for each person showing each their own feed, so in a way isolate them from the rest of the users. Also these contents are so filtered that it will either be one which goes well along with our thoughts while at times they show us with something that contradicts our opinion. This is how they get into human psychology and grab our attention.
We judge one another without knowing their real life scenarios and what they are going through. It is really important to know these things as a human to give respect and empathize others. In this way it has degraded the most core human values of social cooperation and empathy. It is also important to keep in mind whether we are being dominated by our negative self or negative side of our character when interacting with others. As these algorithms are expert at hacking into our minds and exposing our negative side, it is important not to lose our character, which when lost impacts most parts of our life.
I may not be the one who is best suited to tell you what is best for you. But be cautious and act wisely when you are dealing with feed algorithms.