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I was asked two questions recently: “How are businesses taking up the issue of mental health on social media?” and “What do Gen Z think about that?”

Brands and mental health

Brands should be aware that when they sell a dream about using their product, they might inadvertently create FOMO. This can lead to anxiety and downstream depression for those who do not use their product (such as the right luxury handbag) or create peer group pressure that is unhealthy and unrealistic. 

Scrolling through posts for hours results in our young beautiful souls “judging their insides from the polished outsides of others“, leading to easily influenced adults that don’t feel worthy, and creating and amplifying anxiety and depression. 

This is why I stopped spending time scrolling because I started to feel insignificant and ‘less than’ compared to my peers.

I knew I wasn’t, but unworthiness rose despite my logical brain fighting my lizard brain. That is why I have minimized my “unsocial media viewing” and “doom scrolling”

But there is a second important point and don’t think that it is so much about brands to consider but the social media platforms responsibility to ponder (and act) to protect young pliable minds. 

Device and platform addiction

Social media platforms use proven neuroscience that has been shown to amplify addiction, not unlike the slot machines of Vegas. Social media algorithms are also designed to create device and platform addiction. 

I think that their responsibility as a corporate citizen has been subsumed by their corporate greed. Rage, disinformation and drama sells clicks and that generates tens of  billions in advertising revenue. 

Here is a piece I wrote recently on the downstream results of our devices and the social media platforms that are embedded in our smartphones: “Is Technology Stealing Our Happiness?” 

Here were the key points mentioned in the post:

We are currently running a global social experiment and using technology that is dehumanizing us with the resulting downstream effects: 

  • Social media alienates us from each other. We would rather scroll than have a conversation.
  • Tech separates us from nature. Being distracted by your phone or isolated from the outside world with headphones when you are walking means we are missing hearing the crashing surf and the sound of birds and the wind rustling the trees.
  • The internet enables bullying at scale and at distance with little consequences for the “Keyboard warrior”.
  • Tech chooses and prioritizes the individual over community. 
  • Remote work alienates us from our community.  
  • Artificial Intelligence reduces or fully automates our creativity, taking our meaning and purpose away. 

There is more but I ran out of time. 

What do Gen Z think about the downsides of social media?

I don’t think many of them think about it at all. Most of them aren’t aware and are lost in their device and platform addictions. It all seems normal to a generation that grew up with social media but it is anything but. 

Social media is an experiment that escaped the lab. Just like Covid. Addicts don’t think, they just ingest and scroll. Waiting for the next fix.

Last word 

Mark Zuckerberg didn’t design Facebook for the common good, but to make billions from advertising thanks to your addiction.

The post Un-Social Media: The Experiment That Escaped the Lab appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

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