Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategorySocial Media

The little kid is sitting alone on the sofa and looking in his phone

Moving Life Online is Making Us Depressed

The phone-based childhood robs kids developmentally, says Jonathan Haidt
The data seems to point essentially to one thing: the shift to living our lives online. Read More ›
smartphone coiled metal wire in the hands of a man, gray-green background, censorship of social networks. cancel cultural ban, erase

Yes, TikTok is Bad. But is a Ban the Answer?

This might be the way censorship sneakily invades.
It might make more sense to have conversations about age limits with TikTok. Like nicotine, should it be reserved for those above the age of 18? Read More ›
Stop violence and abused children.traumatized children concept.

How One Woman’s Campaign Nearly Destroyed Pornhub

In 2020 it was the 10th most visited website on the internet, now just a shell of its former days
Mickelwait explained that shutting Pornhub down rather than merely forcing it to enact reforms is necessary because of how much damage has been wrought. Read More ›
Censorship on freedom of speech. Restriction of public opinion, right to protest and activism. Undemocratic practices and governments.

How Censorship Has Changed and Why That Matters So Much

The way censorship works now, you don’t even know about it. So it is much more difficult to protest.
Today’s censorship depends in part on the fact that failing mainstream media don’t want to know. Stories are increasingly broken by independent writers. Read More ›
twitter check marks
Blue check mark logos on a heap on a table. Copy space. Verification concept

Philosopher Tweets on Consciousness — and Gets Feedback

Tulane U’s Kevin Morris tweeted that “the brain/ nervous system IS consciousness,” and started a broad discussion with many views represented
Social media can be a tool for free discussions with people worldwide who may not go to the conferences, sign up for the courses, or read the books we do. Read More ›
Young woman using smart phone,Social media concept.

Facebook and Instagram Allegedly Hook Youngsters with Dopamine Triggering Tactics

If parents don’t want their children addicted to stimuli and behaviors in the same manner as to drugs or tobacco, then parents need to protect their kids. Read More ›
A child using smart phone lying in bed late at night, playing games. Children's screen addiction and parent control concept. Child's room at night. Sensitive content on screen

Andrew McDiarmid on Teens and Smartphones

We can mitigate the mental health crisis, but we have to act now.
Noted social psychologist Jonathan Haidt notes that the mental health epidemic among teenagers, particular teen girls, really began around 2012 or so. Read More ›
Social media and digital online concept, woman using smart phone. The concept of living on vacation and playing social media. Social Distancing ,Working From Home concept.

The Atlantic Warns of Smartphones in Schools. But Is Anyone Listening?

While word is getting out, there's still a long ways to go.

This week, we ran a post covering a new public policy brief from the Institute for Family Studies and the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The brief conclusively demonstrated the tangible harms involved in exposing kids to the online world before they’re ready. The researchers concluded, in addition, that parents should not give their children digital devices. The stakes are too high, from increased risk of mental health disorders to learning impairments. Such warnings have been increasing over the past few years, thanks in large part to the in-depth research of people like Jonathan Haidt and Jean Twenge. The Atlantic published an article today on how smartphones are hurting kids’ cognitive and learning capacities. Derek Thompson writes, Researchers such as Read More ›

Atomic structure. Futuristic concept on the topic of nanotechnology in science. The nucleus of an atom surrounded by electrons on a technological background

Hossenfelder vs Goff: Debate About Electrons Sparks Social Media!

The public has not suddenly become interested in whether electrons exist. Rather, more people are using new media for an increasingly broad array of purposes.
A classic top-down discussion is now taking place on X, an intrinsically bottom-up platform — broadening access while threatening former gatekeepers. Read More ›
young  unhappy woman suffering from depression, and stress

Is This a Moral Reckoning? 41 States Sue Meta for Knowingly Addicting Young Users

The lawsuit claims that Meta's platforms are harming its young users. The data backs it up.
The lawsuit coincides with a new article from Jean Twenge, known for researching "Gen-Z" and their painful relationship with addictive digital media. Read More ›
Kisoro Uganda beautiful sunset over mountains and hills of pastures and farms in villages of Uganda. Amazing colorful sky and incredible landscape to travel and admire the beauty of nature in Africa

Social Media Dissolve Borders for Orphans   

Sometimes it can create awareness of seemingly insurmountable problems, old and new — child sacrifice and organ harvesting
A blind sort through hundreds of millions of social media users turned up people, not connected to Uganda in any way, who could reach out to help. Read More ›
a person takes pictures with her phone, photographs healthy food

Homogeneity via Instagram and the Internet

Spending too much time online shapes our personality and outlook perhaps more than we'd like to admit.
Unplugging from the matrix may bring us back to a sense of individual identity and purpose. Read More ›
hand holds a disposable film camera

Trying to Solve Social Media’s Problems Through…More Social Media

Alternative social media apps still have to figure out ways to keep you scrolling.

Last month a friend invited me to download a new photography app called “Lapse.” Perhaps you’ve already heard of it and downloaded it yourself. I decided to try it and see what all the fuss was about. The app’s opening screen was dramatic, with captions about the failures of previous social media apps to truly “capture” the present moment. The business model of social media apps, the Lapsers rightly contend, revolves around “likes” and gaining “friends.” What happened to taking pictures of real, human moments without minding the social reward they might reap? Photo-taking was about holding on to moments that mattered. It wasn’t about filters, validation, or identity. Lapse promises to be different. It’s a disposable camera on your Read More ›


The Great Trust Heist

When social media companies are mining data, trust is naturally undermined.
Machines that process the private information you share with people you trust find ways to nudge you towards beliefs and actions the owners of the social media network want. Read More ›
Financial Updates, Close-Up of Newspapers, Daylight, High-Definition Picture Generative AI

Five Key Ways Media Have Changed in the Last 35 Years

Major media no longer really represent a vast number of average audience members
Increasingly, the audience is fragmenting as people select their own individually crafted news streams. We must accept responsibility for the streams we create. Read More ›
Sad man getting dislikes and being rejected by audience for social addiction ad

The Benefits of Ditching Social Media

Tech writer Cal Newport explains why boredom is actually a good thing

Cal Newport ascended into the limelight upon his viral Ted Talk in which he called people to ditch social media. In this video from last year, Newport rehashes some of the main benefits of not having social media. Boredom is on the list, interestingly; Newport notes that most people no longer have moments of boredom, and as a consequence, don’t have any space in their lives to reflect, think, and work through their emotions. Andrew McDiarmid, a contributor at Mind Matters, has written on this in the past. He notes, Mind wandering, or stream of consciousness thought, gives us several mental gains, including the ability to consider obstacles to future goals, generate novel, creative thoughts, and place our experiences in meaningful Read More ›

bright iridescent thread floss for embroidery and needlework

Is the “Threads” App a Bust?

The app originally attracted around 100 million users but has tapered off dramatically.

Within the first week of its existence, “Threads,” the new Twitter-like app from the tech company Meta, saw a colossal decline in usage. The app originally attracted around 100 million users but has tapered off dramatically. Jody Cerrano reports, Zuckerberg’s statements about returning users coincide with estimates from third-party traffic analysts that reported the big dip in Threads users last week. At that time, Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm, said that Threads’ daily active users on iOS and Android were down by 20%. The company added that traffic was not the only thing affected. Time spent on the app per user also fell, according to Sensor Tower, by 50% — from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. On Monday, the analyst Similarweb reported an Read More ›

Sports concept of fighting without rules. Two athlete wrestlers in the arena of the octagonal scene. Mood fights without boxing rules MMA. Alternative look at sporting battles through the metal cage

Really, a Cage Match?

Rumor has it that Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg are going to fight each other (physically, not figuratively) in a cage match.

Rumor has it that Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg are going to fight each other (physically, not figuratively) in a cage match. Yes, you heard that right. After an online squabble, the two are purportedly interested in an actual fight. Today, the news broke that Musk has agreed to train with UFC legend Georges St-Pierre. St-Pierre offered his services to Musk in a tweet, to which Musk replied, “Okay, let’s do it.” No one really knows if this fight will actually happen, but it could. It’s ludicrous that men of such stature should be entertaining the notion of a cage match. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg is apparently trained in martial arts, and seemed open to the idea given Read More ›

Birds symbol carry on dialog with each other. Plasticine illustration.

Twitter’s Copycat Rival is Coming to You via Meta. Will It Survive?

Meta will again co-opt the ideas of its competitors and hope for the best

Meta is reportedly trying to compete with Twitter by introducing a similar app called Threads. The app will be connected to Instagram and will allow a cross-over of followers, etc. Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, some have complained about loosened constraints regarding speech and expression. A number of formerly suspended accounts, such as those belonging to psychologist Jordan Peterson, the Christian satire site The Babylon Bee, and a number of other (mostly conservative) voices, were reestablished following Musk’s “takeover.” Now Meta is trying to capitalize. If they’re going to launch Threads, now is probably the best time to do it. Apart from the overarching complaints against Twitter and Musk, the platform is now limiting how many tweets a user Read More ›

Social Network Online Sharing Connection Concept.

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 Read More ›