Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Bloomberg Businessweek Validates Our "Age of Anxiety" Prediction

Add to Bloomberg Businessweek the list that already includes the Wall St. Journal and the New York Times of publications that have validated our prediction that 2018 is the "age of anxiety."

Check out our prediction here but check out, also, this article by Bloomberg Businessweek's Editorial Board: "A New Year's Wish: Better Social Media:Why is everyone hooked on a product that makes them miserable?" (Original print headline: "Social Media Doesn't Have to Be Terrible.")

A key line:
Across Silicon Valley, insiders have lately been raising similar concerns, and fretting that the business model of social media may be undermining the well-being of its users. A growing body of research suggests they have a point.
Even more significant:
Among the young, social media may be playing a role in rising rates of depression and suicide. It seems to induce feelings of envyanxiety and inadequacy. It appears to reduce self-esteem, inhibit sleep, interfere with schoolwork and (of all the ironies) encourage antisocial behavior. Some two-thirds of kids now say they wouldn't mind if social media didn't exist. And who can blame them? 
The problem is that it's hard to quit.
Welcome to what we’ve called the age of anxiety. The things that we rely on to get through our day, to connect to family, friends, colleagues, and our communities at large are the same things that undermine our sense of self and our happiness.

Worse – many of us recognize that our reliance on our screens and on social media is making us unproductive and unhappy but we can’t break the addiction. And this isn’t just a problem for teens; it’s a problem for everyone.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Editorial Board suggests that “it’s up to social media business to make its products more humane and less exploitive” but we don’t think they are truly motivated to do so since making it easier to disconnect means taking a hit on their revenue.

Look, we don’t have an answer, either. And we continue to be on social media, too.

Hoping won’t make it so, but as Bloomberg Businessweek’s Editorial Board says about what social media tries to do – bring about human connection – “it’s worth reflecting on how to meet that desire (human connection) – without making everyone miserable in the process.”

Couldn’t agree with that more. Do you have suggestions for how to reduce our anxiety? Let us know.

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