Arc Burn: How Social Media is Breaking Us

There is one particular section in Jaron Lanier’s book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now that keeps me up at night. He describes the trajectory of online social justice movements. First, they experience a honeymoon phase of progress, but because of the invisible business model of social media, these social movements are algorithmically catalogued, manipulated, and studied for profit in a way that leads to greater social unrest, bigotry, and inequality. Lanier calls this process “Arc Burn,” in reference to MLK Jr’s moral ark quote.

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Top Fifteen Books of 2020

I’m a slow reader, and at the end of each year I find myself mildly disappointed by my low book count. However, this was the year of COVID-19, political unrest, and existential uncertainty. All my previous forms of entertainment (news, social media, shows, gaming) became too stimulating in an already over-stressed existence. I retreated to books, and they sustained me through this dumpster fire of a year.

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On Being Better On Social Media

I am the person I am today, in no small part, because of social media. When I was a newly-out gay man and needed the queer community, I found them on social media. That alone probably saved my life. Ever since those first days of finding my queer community online, I’ve made innumerable friends, connection, and community on social media. I also truly adore my Satanic family on twitter. I start with all this, because I’m going to spend the rest of this post articulating the dark side of social media, how it has reduced my quality of life, and what I intend to do about it.

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