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Social Media’s Mimetic Desire Complex

The reason it makes us so miserable

Frank is friends with Bob. Both Frank and Bob know Sue. Frank likes Sue. Therefore, Bob likes Sue. Conflict ensues. Frank and Bob are no longer friends.

Take this situation and amplify it by a million (whatever that metric looks like) and you’ve got something like the social media world we inhabit today. This quick video, posted below, discusses “mimetic desire,” or what happens when certain ideals or images are pursued, not because they’re intrinsically good, but because it’s the current zeitgeist to want them.

The problem with mimetic desire is that it eclipses legitimate desires and wants, or confuses us about what we really need in order to be happy. Watch the video for a better summary of this idea, but it’s well worth considering.

It’s becoming more and more clear how social media has contributed negatively to users’ mental health. Documentaries like The Social Dilemma underscore the Big Tech business model of harvesting attention at any cost – even when the cost is addiction.

We cover issues in social media, Big Tech, and addiction here at Mind Matters often, and you can read our other similar content by either perusing the site or starting by visiting the links below:

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Social Media’s Mimetic Desire Complex