The Untold Costs of Social Networking

Luis Suarez, E L U S A, Aug 17, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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Luis Suarez has never taken his online interaction for granted - for example, he engaged in a multi-year 'no email' project to encourage people to communicate with him more efficiently. Like the rest of us, he saw trhe potential of social networks: "building your online social networks was all about connecting with people who would share similar interests on a particular topic with you, so that people would have an opportunity to collaborate and learn more from one another." But "Little did we know that, fast forward to 2016, all of those networking activities would come with a really high price tag: your own data in unwanted hands." And now social; network sites are "depressing and equally horrifying user experiences with a single goal in mind: to have you glued to their screens constantly scrolling through, mindlessly thinking ‘why the heck have I ended over here in the first place?’" Yeah.

And he writes: "I decided, I guess, to break my own chain initially and start making less use of most of the social tools I still rely on and instead blog more. Regain control of the conversation, on our own turf, i.e. the Internet blogosphere, remember? ... The choice is ours and ours alone."

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