Remember when Facebook was exclusive to college campuses? It’s hard to picture, right? It seems like millennia ago.
Now, with over 2.2 billion users worldwide, Facebook is as ubiquitous as your morning coffee. Add in Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube, and you start to wonder what exactly we did with our time before social media.
Social media has accomplished some amazing things. It has connected our world like never before, and empowered grassroots movements that simply would not have been possible without it.
But, like pretty much anything men create, there are some nasty side effects that have accompanied the rise of social media. Many of which we’re only beginning to understand.
I like to watch TED talks. They’re intriguing, insightful, entertaining, and sometimes even funny.
On the topic of social media, I’ve found these four TED talks to be the best. (in no particular order)
Watch them for yourself, and tell me you’re not going to look at social media in a different light.
How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google manipulate our emotions – Scott Gallaway
Scott Galloway is a Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches Brand Strategy and Digital Marketing to second-year MBA students. He is also the author of the Digital IQ Index, a global ranking of the digital competence of the world’s biggest brands.
In this spectacularly entertaining rant, Scott shares insights and mind-blowing stats about the dominance and motivation of four of the world’s largest tech companies.
THIS is what happens when a society prizes shareholder value over everything else.
How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every single day – Tristan Harris
Tristan Harris is the co-founder of The Centre for Humane Technology, a non-profit dedicated to “reversing the digital attention crisis and realigning technology with humanity’s best interests“.
From Snapstreaks to Facebook notifications to YouTube autoplays to Netflix “next episode”s, a handful of people working at a handful of tech companies steer the thoughts of billions of people every day. And they all want one thing:
In this TED talk, Tristan shares how these companies prey on our psychology for their own profit. He calls for a design revolution in which our tech instead works for us, not against us.
The curly fry conundrum: Why social media “likes” say more than you think – Jennifer Golbeck
Would you like a side of creepy manipulation with those curly fries?
Jennifer Golbeck is an associate professor at the University of Maryland in College Park and is Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab.
In her TED talk, Jennifer explains how some applications of Facebook’s technology are not so innocent, and why she thinks we should return the control of information to its rightful owners.
Also, apparently if you like curly fries it means you are smarter than most people. Don’t ask, just watch…
Your online life, permanent as a tattoo – Juan Enriquez
Andy Warhol once famously said: “Everybody will be famous for 15 minutes.”
But what if he had it wrong? What if, instead of being famous for 15 minutes, we’re only anonymous for that long?
Juan Enriquez is the Managing Director at Excel Venture Management, an investment firm that specializes in “applying transformative life science technologies to solve problems in healthcare and beyond“. (whatever that means)
In Juan’s short TED talk, he looks at the surprisingly permanent effects of digital sharing on our personal privacy.
Think you can play online anonymously? Think again.
Yes, I am on social media
Before you launch yourself into the comment section to point out my hypocrisy, I do indeed use some social media. I have, however, taken steps to keep it in its proper place. Steps that you can also take if you so choose.
Social media is a tool. How you use that tool is entirely up to you. Just know that there is a lot at stake here.
And choose wisely.