Social networks diet

July 4, 2022

by LIOR ZOREF @lior

One of my favorite Black Mirror episodes came out in 2016. This episode was called ‘Nosedive’ (link). It presented a dystopian and frightening future in which the wisdom of crowds and ratings run the world. Everyone is addicted to social networks and obsessively rate each other. Each citizen has a score that determines his rights. People with a low score get punished and cannot board flights.

Since 2018, just two years later, the Chinese government has used their Social Credit System to deny citizens with low scores rights such as traveling on trains and flights.

Although we are still far from such a future, many have become addicted to ratings and reviews. This is part of our social acceptance and our sense of belonging. For many, a professional career is influenced by our social media presence.

We make important decisions about the boundaries of exposure without knowledge or guidance on the subject. How should we educate our children about the limits of exposure? What is the price of making mistakes?

The lead actress in this Black Mirror episode is Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of the famous actor, producer and director, Ron Howard (A beautiful mind, Apollo 13 and more).

She gave an important TED talk recently (link). Bryce talked about her family’s life in the public eye and what she learned from her mother about the need to protect private life. She argued that rich private life is the basis for public life. The value of life, according to Bryce, should be measured in what we choose not to share.

Here’s one of the rules she recommends: wait two days before sharing on social media. Be present in the moment and decide what and how to share later while exercising discretion: Why should I share? And how does it serve the people I love?

Her key insight is this: our true value is not measured by the amount of our followers but by the strength of the relationships we have with those few people who are close to us.

Anyone who follows me on social media may have noticed that lately I’ve been sharing a lot less.

I started a social networks diet.

Like any diet, it’s not easy but apparently it is the right thing to do.

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