Are We In Control?
August 28, 2022
Article No. 305
Let me start this article by sharing this video by @raizel of Hive. I saw this video in his article titled The Truth.
Greetings my dear readers and friends. I found the video a bit dark and creepy... but cool and thought-provoking. That as it may, I believe Raizel was trying to convey a message here. The video moved me to write this article with the question "Are We In Control?"
The Internet and Social Media have affected and are affecting most, if not all, of us. Even before the Internet, Cable TV operators started airing shows 24/7. That started a generation of people stuck in front of the "Boob Tube" (that's another term that refers to television).
Then, television companies started creating numerous channels. One for 24/7 news, another for TV sitcoms, and another for sports. Before e-Bay and Amazon were ever conceived, there were shopping channels on TV. They will showcase a certain product and convince their viewers to place their orders within the hours to avail of the huge discount. All the victims, I mean the viewers, need to do is to dial the number posted on the television screen. In some residences, the television set is not enough. Perhaps to avoid conflict, parents opted to provide each child with a TV in their rooms.
I will skip through the effects of SMS and video games and jump directly to the Internet era. Specifically, the era of smartphones and "social media".
What's Wrong With This Pic?
The image may be computer generated, but I witnessed a real-life incident many years ago.
I heard a vehicle's horn blared loud and long. It was followed by an equally loud screeching of four tires trying to stop a speeding SUV. When I looked where the sound came from. A black SUV(a Pajero, if I remember it right) stopped in the middle of the highway. A man was standing in front of the vehicle, holding a cell phone in front of him. After pausing for a second or two, the man continued crossing the four-lane highway as if nothing happened. The vehicle did not move for another minute or two... or even longer.
People today, especially the younger generations are hooked to their devices. Let's see if you are.
Is the first thing you do after you wake up to check your Facebook or other social media?
Do you take photos of your food before every meal?
Do you take selfies in every place you go?
Do you check your social media for new messages and interactions every 15 minutes?
Is the last thing you do before you go to sleep to post on social media?
These are just some of the indicators experts ask to determine if a person is addicted to social media or not. These do not include the indicators for online or mobile game addiction. If you answer "yes" to at least three of the questions here then, most probably you are addicted to social media to some degree.
Here is another animated video.
What do you think?
The primary goal of these tech companies is to dominate the market. To do that they must get the attention of as many users as they can. Once they got a user's attention they make sure that keep that. How are they doing that?
A former Google employee explains that in this video.
Believe it or not, they are not just hacking computers these days, they are now hacking human brains.
The media, not just social media but also TV and other forms of broadcast and printed media are competing to grab our attention. Once they got our attention, they will do anything to keep our attention. This means they intend to convince us to keep on using their products, both hardware and software more than necessary.
I admit, that it's difficult to stay away from gadgets. Currently, mobile devices have become integral parts of our daily lives. Like, how else can we earn from our content if we don't use a laptop or a mobile device?
What is important though is, that we must take control of our use of our devices. We should decide to use them only when necessary. As the multi-awarded actor, Denzel Washington said.
"Are you using the device? Or the device is using you?"
Note: This article is co-published in Hive via Ecency.com: "Are We In Control?" with some minor alterations.