Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (Jaron Lanier book)

Published 2021-07-13.

I decided to read this book after reading Simon Dedeo’s reflections on it in his post, The 11th Reason to Delete your Social Media Account: the Algorithm will Find You.

I found the book surprisingly persuasive. I expected it to contain a bunch of common-sense arguments and references to unreplicated studies—the kind of thing you’d expect from, maybe, a journalist writing on this topic. What I didn’t realize is that Jaron Lanier has been deeply immersed in the tech world for a long time and really knows what he’s talking about. In this book, he argues mainly from philosophical and spiritual perspectives. To get a sense of his stance, I recommend watching this 20-minute interview. His interview with Ezra Klein is also good.

I finished the book a few weeks ago and still haven’t deleted any of my social media accounts, but I’m considering it. I haven’t really used Facebook or Instagram in a long time, but at times over the past several years I’ve been a big-time Twitter addict. I’m conflicted about Twitter. On the one hand, it’s a great way to increase serendipity, both for personal relationships and for my career. On the other hand, it’s hard to use in a way that feels healthy.

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