Ten Arguments for Deleting All your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Ten Arguments for Deleting All your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Book - 2018
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Lanier offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave the dangers of online platforms behind. He has seen their tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people. And he asks: How could the benefits of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? -- adapted from jacket.
Publisher: New York :, Henry Holt and Company,, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781250196682
Characteristics: x, 146 pages ; 22 cm


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Jul 02, 2019

I believe, no one would be motivated to delete their social media accounts after reading this book however, I do feel that it is an excellent starting point for someone to begin a more critical study of social media practices.

The introduction and conclusion are extremely well written and engaging but they do not connect at all with the rest of the book. What is in-between are 10 arguments that barely skim the surface on possible issues with social media; loosely connected with a concept of BUMMER that the author quickly explains and uses 1000 times over and over again.

I would only recommend this book, to people who are just beginning to look at social media or their practices more critically.

JCLMikeK Sep 20, 2018

This is one of the best books about modern technology I've read, and I would highly recommend it to heavy users of social media, as well as people who are curious about the impact it is having on our minds and the wider culture. Lanier's basic argument is that the algorithms social media companies (Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.) use to manipulate us into using their services longer (thereby spending more time being exposed to advertisements) are accidentally making us upset and crazy, and that we need to delete our accounts, if only temporarily, to incentivize change.

This is far from a brand new argument, but Lanier's reasoning combined with his insider's perspective (he's spent 30 years working in Silicon Valley and with various tech companies) make a very strong case. He details how it is easier to upset users than make them happy, so the algorithms (whose sole mission is to constantly test you to see what will keep you "engaged" longer, and then manipulate you into staying) wind up providing us with more upsetting content than pleasing content, negatively coloring our peception of the world through their filter. Then we go off into the world with our algorithmically-shaped worldviews and encounter others with their own worldviews (algorithmically-tailored to their own tastes or not), and we can't help but see each other as completely crazy. We've digested so much of the world through our filters that we've lost track of the actual world we have in common.

Ten Arguments is a very short, quick read, but filled with ideas and insights. There is much more to the book than I can summarize here, but as a closing thought I wanted to mention that one of the things I most appreciated about the book was Lanier's insistence on not vilifying any of the people he's discussing. He approaches everybody with the assumption that they are trying to do the right thing, and he makes his arguments from there. Highly recommended.


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