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Mastodon, Social Media and Addiction

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I’d like to discuss Mastodon, Social Media and addiction. Specifically I would like to discuss how I do not want to invest my time in a social network where people are already discussing social media s if it is an addiction. We have seen that this has a negative impact on social networks. Look at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others for illustrations of this.

I do not want to be part of social networks and social media that are viewed as addictive, because it sends the wrong message to users, and potential users. It sends the message that rather than investing time in meeting new people and making new connections, you are giving in to a craving for an addiction. Back in the day I remember when I disliked likes, favourites and thumbs up for a simple reason. It replaced conversation with statistics. “Three people favourited this, five people starred that and 23 people gave this a thumbs up.” Instead of having an exchange of a few sentences we are interacting by likes, stars or thumbs up. This isn’t socialising.

Social networks, and by association social media should about following and joining converssations, about connecting with people, without the spectre of “addiction” floating over us.

By saying that social media is addictive it gives marketers the green light to abuse decency, to get engagement. It allows those who own or control social networks to decide how people interact. Finally it’s a value judgement that biases people against investing their time and emotional self on social networks because they do not want to be labelled as addicts.

If people on Mastodon have all the bad habits that discourage me from using Twitter then aside from leaving because of the leadership issue, what reason do I have to continue using social media? At the end of the day if I invest an hour a day writing blog posts then I might gain more.

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