Sunday, June 18, 2017

Social Media from a Variety of Recovery Perspectives #Sociology #Science

In our first example, we have a fellow whose life had become focused primarily on engaging with people online but that resulted in a number of problems to solve.  (Observer:  How Life Can Change After Leaving Social Media)

I was sitting in darkness in my small rented flat, scrolling through my Facebook news feed on my smartphone. Load-shedding was going on. No wind was flowing through my small windows. I was feeling really hot and suffocated. I was cursing my life. I was sweating. I felt broken, aimless, poor, unemployed, frustrated and severely jealous to see other people’s success. I was addicted to Facebook and spent 10–15 hours everyday on Facebook. Moreover, I was habituated to use WhatsApp, IMO, Viber and Wechat just as often. I even checked WhatsApp messages before starting my exam. I used to upload photos to Instagram. A lot. I loved to tweet everyday. I used to check notifications, update my status, comment on things, text/call while walking, hang around on the bus and even cross the street.

- Observer

That was the fellow, a Millennial in university, hitting the bottom.  He pulled out of social media and recovered a life he now considers meaningful and the article presents the Rest of the Story.  However, this is the last line from it:

I have gotten rid of depression, jealousy, found peace of mind, chasing passion and emphasized more focused on my life. I am really happy now after getting rid of depression and learning to enjoy every moment of life.

- Observer

In the second example, social media is considered in the context of addiction and you may feel the idea stretches a point but check it out if you will.  (Observer:  Social Media Is as Harmful as Alcohol and Drugs for Millennials)

Addiction may seem a bit of a strong word to use in the context of social media, but addiction refers to any behavior that is pleasurable and is the only reason to get through the day. Everything else pales into insignificance. Millennials may not get liver damage or lung cancer from social media, but it can be damaging nonetheless.

The harm lies in their change in behaviour. Their addiction means spending increasing amount of time online to produce the same pleasurable effect, and it means social media is the main activity they engage in above all others. It also means taking away attention from other tasks, experiencing unpleasant feelings from reducing or stopping interaction with social media and restarting the activity very soon after stopping completely.

- Observer

The Rockhouse regards the possible limitation of that effect to Millennials as far too restrictive since you will find the same people are almost always online and many are long past Millennial age.

The digital age has changed the nature of addictions in millennials, who have replaced one maladaptive behaviour with another. Social media certainly looks as if it has replaced alcohol as a way of social interaction with others. It is perhaps no surprise that, over the past ten years, there has been a 20% rise in the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who are teetotal. Ten years ago it was 17%. It is now 24%. Spending time online now seems more desirable than spending time in a pub with friends.

- Observer

The Rockhouse agrees with Millennials in this regard since hitting one's head with a brick accomplishes more than hanging about drinking.  However, when one spends that time constantly online, in effect, you are hitting your head with a brick.

This article will probably not be much satisfying since it culminates in the vagueness of, oh, what should we do.

Here's something you can do for our third example.  (The Guardian:  Inside the rehab saving young men from their internet addiction)

“I was playing video games 14 or 15 hours a day, I had Netflix on a loop in the background, and any time there was the tiniest break in any of that, I would be playing a game on my phone or sending lonely texts to ex-girlfriends,” Carpenter says.

We are sitting in a small, plain apartment in a nondescript condo complex in Redmond, Washington, on the outskirts of Seattle. Marshall shares the apartment with other men in their 20s, all of whom have recently emerged from a unique internet addiction rehab program called reSTART Life.

- Guardian

Perhaps the social network enthusiast sees these men were gamers and gets dismissive but the phenomenon isn't particularly different.  Anything in which people are manufacturing the belief of human engagement with something inanimate has a tremendous potential for creating yet more illusions.

While humans use the social networks, they become machine-like in terms of the hard demand for conformity.  It may not seem like Millennials conform to anything but they conform so much to each other they might also print study guides so people understand get this or you're over.

When one only sees other humans as avatars as their actual selves, why would it be any surprise when the rest of humanity becomes depersonalized and trivial.  It's the worst of the conform or die mindset right before your eyes ... and it's not even real people doing it.

Ed:  you just said they were!

I said they are avatars representing real people and that's difference of cosmic degree as in the distance between stars.

Summary, this may appear as case building in which I collect some focused articles to turn about and say, "Hey, I told you so."

However, that's not how these articles present to me.  My process is to review the news bulletins for a day.  I will take a look at whatever the crazy crackers are doing and then take a look at whatever researchers are doing.  That a number of articles present on any given day in this context isn't case building but rather the Zen of it.  There's a case being built but I'm observing it rather than stacking the bricks.

Whatever you may do with the bricks is up to you but, if you must stack bricks, it will almost certainly be vastly better if you stack real ones.

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