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Social Media Destroyed My Attention (and likely yours too)

It worsened my ADHD, which ended up spiraling my quality of (and of my work) into increasingly tight vortexes of depression and anxiety.

As I came to discover how it was that social media destroyed my attention, I came to recognize a much more disturbing complex of problems the technology was creating.

Besides having the very intense impact of patterning one’s attentional capacity towards deeply shallow activities as the norm, the consequence of social media on our minds extends into our lives and into society in a way that is deeply disturbing.

Social media manipulates our perceived sense of reality while hijacking our limbic system towards emotional reactivity, outrage, and a pervading sense that the only solution to our distress is more compulsive social media usage. Social media poisons our minds and our relationships while convincing us that the solution is more compulsive use.

It is a dark and twisted scenario all run for the purpose of monopolizing our attention in an effort to harvest our data. Social media companies then sell that monopolized attention to other companies as personally curated advertising that, itself, takes advantage of (and perpetuates) the compulsive reactions social media cultivates in us to trick us into buying shit.

Furthermore, because, as mentioned above, its manipulation of our perceived reality can be used to dictate how we allegiance the embodied emotional energy (emotional reactivity) it triggers in us to hijack our attention.

We don’t even know it, but social media’s effect on our sense of what’s real makes us pawns of a powerplay we know nothing about while masquerading as a fun place to shop and chat with your friends. It’s insidious and horrific.

This video outlines this process as it manifested in me

while directly calling back to an important documentary–The Social Dilemma–about the devastating effects of social media on us, our children, and our entire society.

Consume mindfully.

Social Media Destroyed My Attention And Altered My Reality

Topics discussed (+timestamps):

  • The Social Dilemma
  • ADHD, what it’s like in my life [1:43]
  • Social media worsened my ADHD [4:55]
  • Damaged attention = damaged sensemaking [7:28]
  • Being conditioned into outrage and judgment [9:24]
  • Echo chambers altering our reality and dictating our ethics [12:35]
  • It’s a battle I can’t seem to win [14:41]
  • The bigger reason why we need to reclaim our attention from social media [16:33 ]
  • Are we making enemies where there might be allies? [20:02 ]

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