Living in The Matrix – More Isolation, Fear, and Tribalism

Executive Summary

  • Our politics and culture are mired in fear and tribalism.
  • The algorithms tracking you on social media are triggered by your negative emotions and amplify the negativity.
  • Your digital tribe keeps consuming and feeding each other with the same ideology.
  • We regress further into tribalism and mistrust of those not in your tribe.
  • Higher social media use is linked with increased anxiety, stress and depression.
  • Short attention spans deactivate critical thinking skills (skills which are no longer being taught by the intellectual elites in our colleges and universities).

Those of us old enough to know what life was like before social media may remember how exciting Facebook was at its inception. Imagine, the ability to connect with old friends we had not seen for decades! Then, Facebook was a virtual dynamic conversation. This brilliant idea, to connect to others with shared experiences and interests, was strengthened with the advent of Twitter, Instagram and apps.

Things did not remain that simple. These platforms have morphed into Frankenstein’s monsters, filled with so-called friends we’ve never met, slanted news stories, celebrity gossip, self-aggrandizement and ads.

The Matrix is already here: Social media promised to connect us, but left us isolated, scared and tribal — https://theconversation.com/the-matrix-is-already-here-social-media-promised-to-connect-us-but-left-us-isolated-scared-and-tribal-148799

I’ve written about the dangers of social media many times:

More Social Media Use Linked to More Depression and Anxiety in Teens

Quit Social Media – Dr. Cal Newport

The Pleasures of Life without Social Media

The Potential Harm of Social Media

I’ve bulleted the highlights of the Matrix article but the entire article is well worth reading. What truth?

COVID-19 – Coronavirus Deep Dive

What were the demographics of the forty-one admitted 2019-nCoV patients included in this study?

  • Most were men (30/41 patients; 73%)

  • Median age = 49 years

  • 13/41 patients (32%) had underlying disease (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, COPD, cancer)

What kind of symptoms did the forty-one admitted 2019-nCoV patients included in this study have?

  • Fever (40/41 patients; 98%)

  • Cough (31/41 patients; 76%)

  • Myalgia or Fatigue (18/41 patients; 44%)

  • These three symptoms were the major ones. There were patients who had sputum production, headache, hemoptysis, and diarrhea; however, these symptoms were less common.

  • Dyspnea occurred in 55% later in the course, with mean time to onset of dyspnea at 8 days.

Here’s a nice short summary of a recent study published in Lancet.  The balance of the source article can be found at emDOCs.net

And if you want to maintain your sanity regarding this emerging infectious disease threat avoid social media. 

Social media, for all its many ills and its few redeeming qualities, identifies idiots.

Can we turn serious for a minute? Are you on social media, talking to people that you don’t know about things that you know nothing about? If so, what are you doing? There’s a great big wonderful wide world out there. Why not trying exploring it? Talk to people. See things. Read stuff that is longer than 14 words.

Berry Tramel: Garth Brooks’ Barry Sanders jersey brings out the idiots, thinking he was endorsing Bernie Sanders

 

 

People are falling off buildings in search of the perfect Instagram shot

The leading cause of death while taking selfies is drowning, followed by transportation (trains and cars), and then falling from high places.

What a fun article.

Here’s the Wikipedia webpage that maintains a list of selfie deaths.

Not just for the young.

A 68-year-old Belgian woman was visiting the El Tatio geyser field located within the Andes Mountains of northern Chile. While attempting to take a selfie in front of an active geyser she stepped backwards and fell into the scalding hot water. Her husband pulled her out, but she died in hospital days later from burns over 85 percent of her body.

Put The Phone Away

Published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, the most recent study linking poor mental health conditions to social media use has added even more evidence to back up the theory. The researchers from the University of Pennsylvania intentionally designed their experiment to be more comprehensive than previous studies on the topic. Rather than relying on short-term lab data or self-reported questionnaires, they recruited 143 undergraduate students to share screenshots of their Phone battery screens over a week to collect data on how much they were using social media apps including Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.

ZeroHedge article link.

Independent article link.

Earlier this year I felt it was important to Put The Phone Down….

With increasing scientific evidence you need to put the phone away.

Unless you want a self-imposed endless cycle of depression and misery.

There’s always Wellbutrin.

Social Isolation Transforms the Brain

In mice.

Confirming and extending previous observations, the researchers showed that prolonged social isolation leads to a broad array of behavioral changes in mice. These include increased aggressiveness towards unfamiliar mice, persistent fear, and hypersensitivity to threatening stimuli. For example, when encountering a threatening stimulus, mice that have been socially isolated remain frozen in place long after the threat has passed, whereas normal mice stop freezing soon after the threat is removed. These effects are seen when mice are subjected to two weeks of social isolation, but not to short-term social isolation — 24 hours — suggesting that the observed changes in aggression and fear responses require chronic isolation.

Though the work was done in mice, it has potential implications for understanding how chronic stress affects humans.

Get out of the house.  Socialize with friends and family.  Leave the cell phone at home.

Social media is not social.  It’s a serious public health problem for the brainwashed masses with addictive behaviors.

Read the source article here.

The Pleasures of Life without Social Media

The fact of the matter is that we do not need the Internet, we do not need social media, and we certainly do not need “smart phones”. What are you, a brain surgeon, that you always have to be available in case of an emergency call? Listen to what people say when they use these “essential” gadgets, as I listen to the hordes on campus—the most typical utterances are: “Hey, what’s up? Yeah I’m on the escalator. Ok, see ya later”. Impressive. Clearly, it’s money well spent. It is almost as if individuals have become afraid of a moment of silence, possibly because they intuitively fear discovering that inside, they are empty…

If you are a professor, you learn that the years (or decades) spent acquiring knowledge in a subject area, plus all the resources devoted to the task, not to mention the training that went into preparing you, are worthless: everybody else always knows better, with their deep knowledge gained on the fly. Anti-intellectualism does not just come from outside the university’s walls. You get lectured at by snarky graduate students with deep insecurities who fashion themselves as activists, called “stupid” by barely literate undergraduate students who misspell their protest signs, and are immediately denounced as “racist” for the mere act of disagreeing with one of these imbeciles.

HT to WordPress and the Fabius Maximus websites.

This is the best essay I’ve read in a long time.  Please take the time to read the entire essay and share with family and friends who actually possess critical thinking skills.

And I thought that Twitter as a porno platform was bad…

 

 

Put The Phone Down…

And keep your hands where I can see them.

Use of computer games was found to be negatively related to all personality and mental health variables: self-esteem, extraversion, narcissism, life satisfaction, social support and resilience.

The use of platforms that focus more on written interaction (Twitter, Tumblr) was linked to depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms.

In contrast, Instagram use, which focuses more on photo-sharing, was linked to positive mental health variables.

Go here for a link to the actual German study.

Read about Teenage Suicides here.

Seriously, put the damn phone down.