A new poll indicates that Farcebook, Twitbook, and other social media operations are every bit as hypnotic and mind-altering and dangerous as television. People know there’s a problem but they can’t break the habit.
The American public holds negative views of social-media giants like Facebook and Twitter, with sizable majorities saying these sites do more to divide the country than unite it and spread falsehoods rather than news, according to results from the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
What’s more, six in 10 Americans say they don’t trust Facebook at all to protect their personal information, the poll finds.
According to the poll, 57 percent of Americans say they agree with the statement that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter do more to divide the country, while 35 percent think they do more to bring the nation together.
Fifty-five percent believe social media does more to spread lies and falsehoods, versus 31 percent who say it does more to spread news and information.
Sixty-one percent think social media does more to spread unfair attacks and rumors against public figures and corporations, compared with 32 percent who say it does more to hold those public figures and corporations accountable.
And a whopping 82 percent say social media sites do more to waste people’s time, versus 15 percent who say they do more to use Americans’ time well.
Wait for it.
But those numbers also come as nearly seven in 10 Americans — 69 percent — say they use social media at least once a day.
They don’t trust it. They know it’s not good for them. But they use it anyway. I can quit anytime I want! There’s more still.
The NBC/WSJ poll also finds Americans are down on Facebook, with 60 percent saying they don’t trust the company at all to protect personal information.
By contrast, the percentage of Americans not trusting companies or institutions with their personal information is lower for Amazon (28 percent), Google (37 percent) and the federal government (35 percent).
And by a 74 percent-to-23 percent margin, respondents say that social media companies collecting users’ personal data to allow advertisers to target them is not an acceptable tradeoff for free or lower-cost services.
Overall, 36 percent of adults view Facebook positively, while 33 percent see it negatively. And Twitter’s rating is 24 percent positive, 27 percent negative.
The people are twice as trusting of government as they are of Faceberg, while still taking copious advantage of the “benefits” of both. A slight majority say there’s no need to trust-bust the social tech monopolies. One frequent argument against that drastic action is that the socials are private companies ergo, leave them alone (to be evil).
Dear Libertarians, Whig Partiers, Tide Pod-eaters, and others: Farcebook is a corporation. Corporations are government-sanctified entities or fake persons. Government, on the other hand, is Faceberg with a gun.
And. What’s the great benefit to all the gibberish and stupidity of the socials? Does everyone search daily for long-form articles to read? No. Do they make use of the astounding research capabilities of the digital age? No. Self-improvement? No. It’s all cat videos, memes, pictures (of your kids…), echo chambering, cat videos, porn, gambling, and triviality. A giant, all-seeing, privacy-risking, literally mind-numbing (I mean literally a digital narcotic) waste of time.
Delete the accounts.
A suggestion for the neurological sciences-minded or professionals: conduct a brain scan study to map the effects, live or long-term, of social media usage. Maybe try t track who is and who isn’t more susceptible to harm. Write a paper. Win a prize. Give me credit. We’ll Tweet about it.