Social media is a symptom not a cause.

I am currently reading Johann Hari's excellent new book Lost Connections in which he explores the real reasons for the increased depression and anxiety in modern society.

As he approached the topic of the internet in the chapter on connection with other people I hoped he wasn't going to indulge in the common knee jerk response of blaming technology for our ills.

He doesn't.

Instead he confirms what I have always believed, that our internet addictions don't create needs, they meet them. The needs exist before we ever pick up our phones. Rather than blaming the technology, and increasing our sense of being out of control, we need to explore the deep psychological needs that modern society is failing to satisfy.

It is our relationships and wider societal norms that we need to question – not what we do with our phones to take the pain away. Social media is a symptom, not a cause, of a deeper problem.

2 thoughts on “Social media is a symptom not a cause.

  1. It’s not an either or. If you change the nature of the feedback loop then things change, they may even change epigenetically. So social media and human neuroses as well as hopes and dreams co-evolve with the tools. Cheap paper didn’t cause the enlightenment but without it there wasn’t an unrequited need waiting to be satisfied


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