You are the byproduct
October 6, 2017 1:08 AM   Subscribe

All of it, [former Apple engineer Chris Marcellino] says, is reward-based behaviour that activates the brain’s dopamine pathways. He sometimes finds himself clicking on the red icons beside his apps “to make them go away”, but is conflicted about the ethics of exploiting people’s psychological vulnerabilities. “It is not inherently evil to bring people back to your product,” he says. “It’s capitalism.” [Paul Lewis, SLGuardian]

You may not even amount to a product, despite paying for the blissful privilege of participation. You are no more than the sum of your predictable behaviour, as inferred by the AI machinery and backed by the data surrendered by yourself.
posted by runcifex (57 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh hey, nice, compulsively opening MetaFilter over and over during my work day has revealed a new post to look at.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:11 AM on October 6 [61 favorites]


There are some dings of bright pleasure in kidding yourself you've discovered the secrets of psychology and become a master manipulator, too; and more in thinking that you've laid aside your magic and become a guru of the way to safety for humanity.
posted by Segundus at 1:18 AM on October 6 [10 favorites]


More seriously, I can absolutely relate to the "continuous partial attention" referred to in the article. There's this concern I have that if I don't check in on Facebook, then I'll be basically disconnected from friends and family back in the US, even though that's already actually verifiably the case — and in fact, when one of the iOS betas I installed made Facebook just stop working, I kind of liked having that forcible prevention of the habit.

I recently heard someone refer to pulling out their phone because they were idle as "smoking," and it feels pretty relevant — I can absolutely understand why people who quit smoking say that they need something to do with their hands.

I mean… man. I used to read books.

I should look into blocking Facebook in my browser and watch my life improve, to be honest. It sure as hell ain't fun, or even something I actually enjoy, even if it's stimulating the pleasure center of my brain.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:20 AM on October 6 [17 favorites]


Speaking of the red notification badge, I do really like how Marco Arment, the maker of Overcast (my podcast player of choice), made the notification badge on the icon off by default, and the explanatory text in the options for it says "Show the number of unfinished episodes on Overcast's icon to add stress to your life."
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:21 AM on October 6 [29 favorites]


Yeah I hate how following podcasts became like work.....really digital and online and social tech is turning all of life into work....your friends are annoyed if you don't respond to messages at once, for example . Leisure activities or vacations make people feel compelled to spend hours going through photos, making posts, making sure everyone is aware of where they are and what they are doing.
posted by thelonius at 1:38 AM on October 6 [7 favorites]


thelonius, the only choice that remains is to hire a techzombie to deal with the other techzombies on your behalf while you enjoy yourself producing something of value to you...

She (Leah Pearlman) has installed a web browser plug-in to eradicate her Facebook news feed, and hired a social media manager to monitor her Facebook page so that she doesn’t have to.
posted by Laotic at 1:53 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


“It is not inherently evil to bring people back to your product,” he says. “It’s capitalism.”
Lately I'm wondering if these are actually two different concepts.
posted by dominik at 1:56 AM on October 6 [45 favorites]


I came to say what dominik said, pretty much: evil isn't necessarily capitalism, but capitalism is inherently evil.
posted by Dysk at 1:58 AM on October 6 [20 favorites]


“It is not inherently evil to bring people back to your product... It’s capitalism.” Well, which one is it?
posted by koavf at 2:07 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


Oh hey, nice, compulsively opening MetaFilter over and over during my work day has revealed a new post to look at.

Here, have a favorite.
posted by grahamparks at 2:39 AM on October 6 [19 favorites]


Hooray! It worked!
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:01 AM on October 6 [15 favorites]


Eighty-seven percent of people wake up and go to sleep with their smartphones

I thought that sounded outrageously high, so I tried to find a cite. I think it may refer to this, which was an online survey of 1,019 people between 18 and 34.

The recent political ramifications mentioned by the article are upsetting to be sure, but I've been bothered for much longer by the way that smartphones make people absent. This short, recent blog post summed it up very well, I thought.
posted by heatvision at 3:27 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


Likes don't distract people, people distract people.
posted by romanb at 3:45 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]


Eighty-seven percent of people wake up and go to sleep with their smartphones

I technically go to sleep and wake up to my smartphone, but it's my alarm clock. It's fully customizable, doesn't beep annoyingly because I chose a tune, gets progressively louder to not make me angry or startled, doesn't take 5 minutes to set and the snooze tune is set to my preference. Also, if the power goes out, my phone is on battery.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:59 AM on October 6 [17 favorites]


As an old white guy.... just kidding, wrong thread....

I work in a gear factory, with no access to internet during the day, and only an old internet-less cell phone for emergency contacts.... it has done wonders for my sanity. Lately things have been a bit slow, and I've found these analog devices called books that can absorb excess attention whilst I wait for machines to complete their work.
posted by MikeWarot at 4:00 AM on October 6 [6 favorites]


I read the article early this morning, on the loo, which is where I've got in the habit of leaving my phone overnight, so I can catch up on news and social media before I go to bed and again first thing in the morning. I think it was a final straw in a long-due breakup from most social media for me.

First thing I did afterwards was to delete twitter (mostly politics, so winds me up) and dramatically cull my instagram follows (mostly of places I'll never realistically manage to get to, so making me unhappy) to a bare few. I'm not on FB.

Back to working through the pile of books in the bathroom, and actually being present when I'm watching TV or chatting with family.
posted by dowcrag at 4:11 AM on October 6


I should look into blocking Facebook in my browser and watch my life improve, to be honest. It sure as hell ain't fun, or even something I actually enjoy, even if it's stimulating the pleasure center of my brain.

My strategy is to log in only in "private browsing" tabs, so the session goes away when the tab closes. That way I have to deliberately perform the action of logging in rather than just idly opening and scrolling.
posted by panic at 4:25 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


I use Facebook to facilitate my performance of valuable social and emotional labor. I always know who got engaged, who went on vacation, who lost a parent, who's sick.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 4:36 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


I never put together that sudden jolt of adrenaline, with the fact that the little notification bubble on my app icons was red. Huh. I'm turning my phone display to grayscale to see if that helps calm things down.
posted by mittens at 4:47 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


I tagged the post "Labour" and "Exploitation" because I think that's part of the means by which tech giants can reap such lucrative profits: free labour on massive scales.

Your attention is labour. Your patterns of life, thought, emotions, and online activities are products of your labour. The formation of your mind is labour. You put your labour into the non-stop firehose of data that feeds to the tech oligarchies. And you pay for the privilege of working for them, who optimise their means of production for the maximal efficiency in retaining, extracting, and regenerating the resource that is you. This is the secret of their success.

And you have no control over your own product. You don't have a say in who can use it, how it can be used, for what purpose, unless you're an insider in the corporate elite circles, the parliament of giants who wield nation-state-level economical powers and pose nation-state-level threats.

If Karl Marx were alive today he'd freak out, hack himself into this network of machine and machine-like beings, and become the spectre that would haunt the Net. What we have is the ultimate alienation (Entfremdung).
posted by runcifex at 5:16 AM on October 6 [21 favorites]


> My strategy is to log in only in "private browsing" tabs, so the session goes away when the tab closes. That way I have to deliberately perform the action of logging in rather than just idly opening and scrolling.
I think this is a good idea and I do this on the phone. Also it keeps the number of things that require logging-in to the minimum.

On Metafilter I set the display of faving to show "has favourites" only (it can be turned off completely in the Preferences), and I hide the link to my faved comments/posts on my profile page with uBlock Origin. It's similar to turning off "likes" and at the same time discourages my potential approval-seeking behaviour.
posted by runcifex at 5:26 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


The idea that every person in the world is supposed to be contactable 24x7 is a disease.

your friends are annoyed if you don't respond to messages at once, for example

Mine are not, because I have made a loud and obvious point of refusing to do so since before smart phones were a thing. So they're all used to that.

I also refuse to use Faceache or Twatter or Bubo or Crapchat or Miserygram or any of them; MeFi is as close to social networking as I ever get. Only my immediate family, plus a small handful of people I accidentally leaked it to, has my mobile phone number. If somebody wants me they can call me on the landline, and if I don't feel like answering that, I won't, and if anybody is offended by that it's not my problem.

Luddite to the core and proud of it.
posted by flabdablet at 5:39 AM on October 6 [9 favorites]


Funny, because Facebook itself turned me off enough that I only check it periodically - a few minutes a week, at most. iOS lets me share photos without opening the FB app, so people who want to know what I’m up to can see pics of my kid. My logins are limited to a quick scroll to see what pops up, then close. Disconnect installed to keep their prying eyes off my regular web traffic.

I used to look at FB more but they made it nearly impossible to track individuals I care about without a shit-ton of manual searching. So, fuck ‘em. Twitter? I like it a bit, but by not using it constantly the feed is so far behind that I have no ability to wade through it all. Thus, a quick glance once or twice a month when I remember I have a Twitter account.

No need to configure my router to cut me off or hire a proxy to be social for me (how distasteful, how entitled that attitude is - this drug is too potent for me, let’s hire a peon to get high on my behalf... knowing full well how toxic that environment is, having created it??) Step away, on your own, and the problem solves itself. Getting your friends to step away? Harder. But it can be done.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:39 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


If somebody wants me they can call me on the landline, and if I don't feel like answering that, I won't, and if anybody is offended by that it's not my problem.

Must be nice having regular work, I guess. A bunch of us can't afford to not be contactable when the temp agency calls. Miss a few too many calls or emails and they stop offering you work altogether.
posted by Dysk at 5:42 AM on October 6 [9 favorites]


(I guess Pearlman's "peon" is a paid social media staff member, or more likely an outsourced agent who manages online presences. A service for your business when for business reasons your can't simply step away, I guess.)
posted by runcifex at 5:55 AM on October 6


“It is not inherently evil to bring people back to your product,” he says. “It’s capitalism.”
It can be both.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 6:03 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Also, I’m not implying that checking faves = approval-seeking, or that there’s anything inherently wrong with that. Hiding faves is a personal choice, a small adaptation to my mental health condition and emotional well-being.
posted by runcifex at 6:15 AM on October 6


Via It's Nice That: "Tabagotchi by Breather. A chrome extension that helps you beat tab anxiety to be more productive. Fewer tabs = happy Tabagotchi. More tabs = angry Tabagotchi."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:33 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


Yeah I hate how following podcasts became like work.....really digital and online and social tech is turning all of life into work

I still get a lot of pleasure out of podcasts, because I've decided to treat them as a only a slightly modified version of terrestrial radio.

I still can't stomach (or afford) a smartphone, so listen to podcasts on a cheap Sansa Clip Sport. I get their feeds via an RSS reader, drop the ones I want to listen to into a desktop file, and periodically refill the player when needed. It sometimes takes me 6 months or more to get to something, but the lag is increasingly kind of pleasurable and relaxing.

I'm under a lot of stress most of the time, and increasingly the only way I can handle the internet at all is to forcibly slow it down through obstinate, quasi-Luddite means (which are also, it turns out, a good defense mechanism against the hardware side constantly trying to wring money out of you).
posted by ryanshepard at 6:41 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


I unfollowed everybody on Facebook, except for my wife and kids, about 3 weeks ago. It was originally a one week experiment, but my life was so much better almost immediately (seriously, I noticed a difference within hours) that it's permanent. I don't think I'll delete my account because Events on FB are still useful, and Messenger is the default IM app for just about everybody I might IM with. But having nothing on my wall means when I check in on an event I leave the site immediately - because there is nothing to distract me. I wrote a blog post about my decision.
posted by COD at 6:50 AM on October 6 [6 favorites]


your friends are annoyed if you don't respond to messages at once, for example

Your Friends May Vary. Mine certainly aren't, and I work at a SV tech company (and thus am not some person known to avoid technology, like say my wife :) ).

Then again, I guess this is self-selecting. People who really care about that probably just kind of drift off and don't stay my friends. Also, I'm 40, so my friends are mostly from a generation when as kids/teens we only had phone calls (no cell phones / text messages, and only a handful of us tech prodigies had email), which may have set different base expectations throughout our lives.

I'm a huge fan of tech, but I don't have many problems with this sort of attention thing because if I don't want to read/respond to something, I don't. Even for work email, I have a filter for super urgent stuff (or if I'm on-call) but otherwise I don't read email between when I leave work and when I show up the next day. That said, not everyone's job is so tolerant and I know some people are basically forced to be always on-email.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:08 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Report: Nothing Stopping You From Deleting Your Facebook Account Right Now.

Made me actually pull the trigger, though I’d stopped being a regular user since the election. Really: nothing stopping you and the only consequence is you get back some of your sanity.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:18 AM on October 6


I work in a gear factory, with no access to internet during the day, and only an old internet-less cell phone for emergency contacts.... it has done wonders for my sanity.

I'm still wishing for a dumbphone that happens to include a smartphone-class camera. Dumbphones fulfill every actual need I have (including timers/reminders/alarm clocks) but their cameras are almost universally bad.
posted by Jpfed at 7:21 AM on October 6


In the sidebar from the original article:

Emma Brocks, Guardian: Does staring at your phone for hours on end serve any practical purpose?

Funny.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:27 AM on October 6


Now that I'm looking for it, I see a lot of phone backlash going around right now -- it feels a little bit like lots of people are suddenly looking up from the last seven or so years and going "hang on, what the hell has happened to us?".

And while 30-somethings at least have something to compare it to, kids who grew up in this world are having a hell of a time. Fantastic read on that in the FT (paywall):
“I always tell my mum to get off it,” another child says, rolling his eyes. “Every time she wakes up, the first thing she does is Facebook. I try to remind her you’re supposed to make breakfast, or you’ve got a job to do, but she’s just staring into her phone.”
Hell, that sounds like the child of a drug addict, right?

I hit my limit a few months ago, after sitting in a work session about digital engagement, and learning how Facebook is utterly driven by its need to increase engagement by any means: they have already maxed out the amount of time they can get from people on computers, so now they must expand into the rest of our lives, wether that's the toilet or dinner time. I despise that feeling of being manipulated I now get from using it.

A couple of days later I was pushing my son on the swings at the park, looking at my phone, clocking all the other parents looking at theirs, noticing the eye contact they were missing and just generally feeling "enough". So I deleted all my social apps; I started leaving the phone in the kitchen whenever I'm at home, and I turned off all notifications. I sold my Apple Watch and my iPad.

And when I tell other people about this, I've been expecting to be mocked as some kind of luddite. But that doesn't seem to happen: nearly every time, the other person has told me about their new rule, whether that's "airplane mode at dinner time" or "phone turned off inside the house" or "I have to create more than I consume on a device". It genuinely feels like something is happening, at least among the early adopter crowd I guess I'm part of.

I later saw a fantastic talk by Amber Case, who is studying the idea of "calm technology" that doesn't interrupt us constantly but instead enhances our lives, and was completely convinced we've allowed this to get out of hand.

It's been hard not to backslide sometimes -- I install Twitter when some big news breaks and then suddenly hours have vanished -- and I definitely get the itch when watching my kid's favourite TV show for the 18912312th time, but it has also been awesome. I'm finishing books -- lots of books! My house is tidier and more organised. My life is tidier and more organised.

Hell, I sound like someone who quit drugs, right? Right.
posted by bonaldi at 7:51 AM on October 6 [18 favorites]


A small suggestion that works for me: Delete the FB app on your phone. Remove the bookmark from your browsers.

I still check out FB, but far less often when it was one blue & white button away.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 7:51 AM on October 6 [2 favorites]


I find that it's notifications and such that turn FB and Twitter and such into such attention seeking time sinks. Also it allows people to intrude at any time they like. Thus, very little notifies me directly. Basically my email and a few other not-social-media apps, along with a couple of YT channels.

Everything else sends email. I haven't logged in to FB in a year or more, yet I know someone sent me a message a couple of days ago. I'll read it this weekend if I remember.
posted by wierdo at 8:12 AM on October 6


Joined FB back when it was only open to schools, added a few old friends in the first month or so, and then somehow resisted ever using it and getting sucked in; I might go there for some FB-only link maybe once a month, otherwise I stay away, and wistfully watch when every now and then it tries to entice me back. Same thing for Twitter and Instagram (and Ello) - I'm there, but something told me to keep a safe distance: maybe it was the radio- and then TV-addiction of my teen years?

Metafilter, despite its minimalism (yay for Classic Theme!), is already such a strong pull - I have had people ask what that blue I'm so often on is...

A headstronger colleague of mine has stuck to his candybar Nokia to stave off work-creep - a couple of years ago others in our field pitied him and scofffed; more recently he's unwittingly become widely admired. (His drug of choice: Serie A football.)

(Incidentally, Loren Bichter, quoted in TFA, is the author of a game I have dedicated many, many hours of, erm, study to: Letterpress.)
posted by progosk at 8:34 AM on October 6


“It is not inherently evil to bring people back to your product,” he says. “It’s capitalism.”

I was only following orders.
posted by Beholder at 9:08 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Since posting my last comment I also deleted my twitter account. The only blue and white website I need in my life is right here.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:13 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


Somehow, November 8, 2016 made it effortless for me to just ignore FB until Spouse Person reminds me to wish someone Happy Birthday on it, which, ok, fine.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 9:59 AM on October 6


Here's a talk by Manoush Zomorodi of the podcast "Note to Self", in which she argues that boredom is actually an essential quality for coming up with brilliant ideas.

The above video link brought to you by my continuous partial attention to the Internet.
posted by fragmede at 10:11 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


I turned off Facebook notifications when I noticed that it had stopped sending me emails whenever someone had messaged me directly—the only thing that I requested it notify me of—but it would email me notifications when some random person I followed posted something I didn't really care about.

It was confusing at first when I went through my notification settings to try to fix it. Then I realized: Facebook figured out that people like me who rarely get on except to read messages would log on a lot more if we realized we were missing direct messages because we weren't being notified (but still being constantly notified about other things so we remember that Facebook exists). So I turned off all notifications and sometimes it takes me a while to get back to people.
posted by pinothefrog at 10:21 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Your Friends May Vary. Mine certainly aren't, and I work at a SV tech company (and thus am not some person known to avoid technology, like say my wife :) ).

Likewise, I don't know a single person in my social circle who would be annoyed by a less than immediate reply to a text. But then, most of our texts are "Hey you going to that show on Friday" or "Want to get coffee/beer/food." Very rarely do any of us ever write anything that needs to be responded to immediately.

Dunno. The anxieties over social media aren't unfounded. I use twitter and facebook. I sleep with my phone. But they're there to use how I want. I don't feel obligated to share my life on either, nor to read everything that the people I follow share on either. I still read as many books as I did twenty years ago and I probably read better books. As far as wasting time goes, I'd say that metafilter is the biggest hole and even that's largely a work day thing.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:24 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Here's a talk by Manoush Zomorodi of the podcast "Note to Self", in which she argues that boredom is actually an essential quality for coming up with brilliant ideas.

I completely forgot to mention the key thing I got from talking to Amber Case, which was when she said "the big thing is to give yourself permission to be bored". I later realised boredom has been at the core of everything that motivates me to do anything, certainly anything creative.

And phones have a siren song to sing when it comes to boredom. "Bored? Check an app!" they say. So even when you are bored by your phone you check another app on there, hoping to relieve the boredom. This, I think, is fundamentally unlike most other forms of diversion -- they all ultimately become too samey to continue relieving the boredom.

But a phone virtually transforms itself into a whole different thing with each app: endless novelty + Skinner boxes is a dangerous combination. It is like crack compared to the TV "cycle through all the channels then start again" loop, which looks like weed in comparison.
posted by bonaldi at 10:34 AM on October 6 [4 favorites]


I never signed up for Facebook, and I'm increasingly convinced this was a very good idea. Every few months, I hear about some group that I'd like to connect with, and think, "maybe it's time," and I wait a couple of weeks, and invariably hear about some new vileness they commit on their userbase and decide, "nope, not yet."

I have a twitter where I repost something I've seen on metafilter every couple of months. I don't read it; I have subscribed to a couple-dozen people, most of whom are inactive now. (Most of whom have been inactive most of the time I've been there.)

No instagram, no pinterest; no subscriptions and no comments on youtube. My social media is dreamwidth, a few slack channels, and sometimes tumblr - which can be active, but "step away for three hours" and "step away for three weeks" has about the same recovery rate. Everything on tumblr is "reply in the next 15 minutes or don't bother."

I don't read paper much anymore, but my ereader isn't connected to the cloud; I sideload books onto it. That's my main "bored? Here's something to entertain you" option.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:43 AM on October 6 [3 favorites]


I only access facebook though bookmarks to https//m.facebookcorewwwi.onion/messages and ../[myuid] thus excluding other people's posts, but I do need a better way to manage twitter crap or just drop twitter for a while. I benefited enormously from dropping metafitler since the election and lapsed only recently.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:10 PM on October 6 [2 favorites]


> A couple of days later I was pushing my son on the swings at the park, looking at my phone, clocking all the other parents looking at theirs, noticing the eye contact they were missing and just generally feeling "enough".

I used to read magazines while pushing my kid on the swings. Pushing kids on swings is boooooring. Sorry, kids, I love you, but the thrill wears off after about three minutes.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:12 PM on October 6 [3 favorites]


Advantage of an eReader over a tablet: I can play Minecraft on my iPad. My Kindle can barely browse the web, but it holds a ton of books. When it's book time, it's book time! No easy distractions.

I also find that narrowing my field of view helps. I regularly hit MeFi, and Ars Technica. Not many other places. Which means I run out of new things to read pretty quickly. That keeps me from spending too much time staring at the device. I know my wife tunes out and grabs her phone to idly browse Facebook when it's movie night and we are watching Dumb Kids Movie but I refuse to stare at my phone during that time, because even if we're just staring at the TV it's a shared experience with the kid, but looking at the phone makes it about ME ONLY.

It grates on me when she tells me "you're on a device all the time" because pot, kettle. I read online on the weekend mornings, when people used to read the paper. I check email when I have meetings coming up and need to be aware of what's happening. But I don't pull my phone out at the table or during social events or when we're outside with the kid, except to take photos. But that is reading - articles, discussions on MeFi, news, not social media. Occasionally games.

Perhaps we need a Disconnect Weekend once in a while. It's not a bad idea.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:13 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Except for phone calls, a couple of chat apps, and work email within a time frame, I have all notifications off.

Firefox focus is a great browser to hold back the tide a bit: no ads, no trackers, only private browsing.

If you really starve for micro stimulation, Anki lets you review/learn using flash cards: it does create a bit of that dopamine/cortisol carrot and stick hopefully for a higher purpose.

The Circle, a book by Dave Eggers, talks about this e-work and it's a fun read.
posted by haemanu at 12:14 PM on October 6


PSA: if anyone finds themselves in an unhealthy psychological relationship with the "x new comments" updating thing at the bottom of threads here: you can turn that off. It's on your Preferences page, listed as "inline comment updates."
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:17 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


"Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin"

i totally acknowledge the problems addiction to social media can have, and i dont mean to be flip, but anyone who compares snapchat to heroin has not ever tried one of those things.
posted by wibari at 1:40 PM on October 6


I've tried a lot of "fixes" for this but the best one by a longshot has been turning off all notifications on my phone. Every single one. New text messages are not visible to me until I actively open up the little iMessage app to check for them. They don't sit on my lock screen trying to catch my eye.

The result is that texts interrupt my life only when I am open to being interrupted. The only downside is when I'm waiting for a friend to show up at my house, or some other communication, where I have to actively check every couple minutes. But it's worth it -- I feel much less distracted.

Turn them all off! No red dots.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 1:44 PM on October 6


Have switched my Mac and iPhone to greyscale, to see if i feel any differently about things.

Recipes:

Mac OS X: System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display Option (left side, under 'Vision') -> 'Use grayscale' checkbox.

iOS: Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Display Accommodations (turn on) -> Color Filters (turn on) -> Grayscale.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:39 PM on October 6


> they have already maxed out the amount of time they can get from people on computers, so now they must expand into the rest of our lives,
It's more than that. What you wrote is quite true in a market already saturated. However, across the great developing continents, Facebook is gaslighting the first-time users into accepting that Internet is Facebook is Internet.
posted by runcifex at 11:17 PM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Not so sure about that. Yes, there's a fairly large demographic who claims to use Facebook but not the Internet, but that would seem to me to be the opposite of thinking they're the same thing.

I've worked as an IT technician for long enough to understand that there are a lot of people who simply have no interest at all in how anything works under the hood; and to people like that, Facebook is what you get when you tap the Facebook app on your phone, and the Internet is what you get when you click the blue Internet e on your PC, and these are obviously not the same thing at all.

In 2017, you actually have to be moderately technical to know or even care that Facebook is in fact Web-based, and extremely technical to understand the distinction between the Web and the Internet.

Most people also buy into media depictions of the Dark Net as some shadowy parallel universe inhabited by drug dealers and paedophiles instead of understanding that it is simply all the Internet-based services that Google happens not to index. And don't even get me started on "hackers".
posted by flabdablet at 10:19 PM on October 7


Amazing title, btw. Just saw that.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 7:31 PM on October 10


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