The AI (Artificial Intelligence) that people debate whether it will take us over is already here…it’s called social media.
I’ll preface by saying this email is not meant to be fear inducing but rather a message of awareness which hopefully leads to proactivity.
I also know I’ve been a big user of social media platforms and have told many people to use them to build their business. Ultimately it depends on your outcome and WHY you are using them.
It’s also ok to change your mind. I’ve been ‘wrong’ about things I’ve said before and changed view points as I became more educated on topics. Maybe in the future I’ll take a different view.
Everyone who posts, clicks and uses these platforms is feeding into an exponentially evolving system of thousands of quantum computers with the sole purpose of keeping us addicted to using them just like a casino does with gamblers.
I know you’ve heard this before and I don’t want to be that person … but here I am being that person, lol.
Try this thought exercise.
It’s the same thing as when you think about the Earth in the solar system, galaxy and universe. You can think about it for a few seconds, intellectualize how amazing it is or whatever thoughts it conjures up for you.
Or you can close your eyes take some breaths and really feel what it means to be on the Earth in the solar system, galaxy and universe. I remember when I was a kid I would do this and it really was amazing….I felt infinity. A vast landscape of blackness that went on forever. It was remarkable.
Now do the same thing for social media and how it is programming billions of people and especially our kids who grow up on it.
You can intellectualize the consequences, say, “Yeah I know” and move on.
Or you can really let that register and meditate on what that really means. Perhaps something like…billions of people slowly being programmed by machines and losing their ability to think for themselves while thinking that would never happen to them.
It’s not the people at Facebook or Instagram who are doing it. It’s the machines and algorithms (recommendation engines) they have created that are programming themselves to follow the mandates given to them by the people. Their ability to learn about us and influence our behaviors and thoughts grows exponentially like wild weeds in a garden on steroids beyond anything we can control. A tsunami remains unnoticed until it’s too late.
The human mind can’t figure out the mathematical algorithm to keep millions of users coming back to check their Instagram feeds like Pavlov’s dog, but a quantum computer can. And it knows who and what things trigger you to come back. It is literally choosing what and who you interact with.
The recommendation engine on these platforms presents you with content you aren’t necessarily looking for and puts certain people in your feed it knows will have a high probability of getting a response from you.
“Algorithms are opinions embedded in code.”
You don’t want to be the person who says, “Those other people are so ‘foolish’ for being influenced but it doesn’t work on me.”
It’s the same as being the person who says, “Those sales tactics from advertisers don’t work on me.” If you think you aren’t being sold, you are definitely being sold.
Also you don’t own any of the content you produce on social media. The content you create is the bait for you and your ‘friends’ to keep coming back and the data they collect about YOU is the product that social media platforms are selling to their clients….advertisers.
Here’s what’s great.
You don’t need to be on social media to grow your business.
You definitely don’t need to be on social media to connect with the people you love.
Here are some ways you can channel your energy for wanting to be on social media:
- Build your own platform. Build a blog, website or e-commerce store.
- Build your own product to offer others that will improve their lives.
- Build your own email list and use that as your outlet to connect with people and share what you want.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop using social media all together. It means you have to be very precise in the ways you use it.
What works for me?
I only have access to my social media accounts on my desktop. For me, keeping social media apps on my phone and saying I can discipline myself on how often I check them is like keeping chocolate chip cookies in front of the Cookie Monster and expecting him not to eat one.
I delegate posting to social media to my team.
When I check out social media for personal reasons I make sure I am aware how much time I am on it and it’s in the same category for me as watching tv, YouTube or Netflix — entertainment that is fine in monitored doses.
Here are two great resources you can use to learn more about this:
The Social Dilemma on Netflix — top executives at social media platforms share their insights.
Chamath Palihapitiya talk at Stanford Business School — he was an early senior executive at Facebook and speaks brilliantly about the topic.
What can you do? You don’t need to do anything differently unless you feel called to. The first step is awareness and from there you can make decisions.
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