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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

What You Need to Know About Social Media

The power of the internet has done wonders for our ability to communicate and learn new things. With these superpowers comes a great deal of darkness, however. Here are two things to keep in mind as you scroll:

• FaceBook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, etc…These are companies. Crazy wealthy businesses which have to make a profit. Their service is not the product. You are the product. They are selling your attention to advertisers and other third party entities.

• Each one of these wealthy companies spends a boat-load of money paying professionals whose sole job is to find ways to get you to spend as much time as possible on their site/app. Addicted to your phone or checking social media? That’s on purpose. Algorithms and database formulas are not designed to optimize for your wellbeing; they are designed to hold your attention for as long as possible. Why do we often see so much drama and conflict on Facebook? Well, conflict catches and holds our attention, and the algorithm is designed for that, which means it steers us toward conflict because we are more likely to read through the comments or even jump into them ourselves.

I love the internet. I believe it is as beautiful or as evil as we allow it to be. But it is vital that we know exactly what is going on behind the curtain. There’s a reason most people working at these companies don’t allow their kids to create accounts…

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