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Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
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Henry Holt and Co. 2018
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A timely call-to-arms from a Silicon Valley pioneer.

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we're better off without them. In Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms.

Lanier's reasons for freeing ourselves from social media's poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more "connected" than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the benefits of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? Lanier remains a tech optimist, so while demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us toward a richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/29/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250196699
ASIN:
B079DTVVG8
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APA Citation (style guide)

Jaron Lanier. (2018). Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Henry Holt and Co.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jaron Lanier. 2018. Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Henry Holt and Co.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jaron Lanier, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Henry Holt and Co, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jaron Lanier. Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Henry Holt and Co, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Jaron Lanier is a scientist, musician, and writer best known for his work in virtual reality and his advocacy of humanism and sustainable economics in a digital context. His 1980s start-up VPL Research created the first commercial VR products and introduced avatars, multi-person virtual world experiences, and prototypes of major VR applications such as surgical simulation. His books Who Owns the Future? and You Are Not a Gadget were international bestsellers, and Dawn of the New Everything was named a 2017 best book of the year by The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Vox.
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shortDescription

A timely call-to-arms from a Silicon Valley pioneer.

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we're better off without them. In his important new book, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms behind before it's too late.

Lanier's reasons for freeing ourselves from social media's poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more "connected" than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history...

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title
Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
fullDescription

A timely call-to-arms from a Silicon Valley pioneer.

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we're better off without them. In Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms.

Lanier's reasons for freeing ourselves from social media's poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more "connected" than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the benefits of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? Lanier remains a tech optimist, so while demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us toward a richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

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      • premium: False
      • source: Franklin Foer, The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Profound . . . Lanier shows the tactical value of appealing to the conscience of the individual. In the face of his earnest argument, I felt a piercing shame about my own presence on Facebook. I heeded his plea and deleted my account."
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times (Summer Reading Preview)
      • content: "Mixes prophetic wisdom with a simple practicality . . . Essential reading."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "The title says it all . . . Lanier advocates untethering from social media, which fosters addiction and anomie and generally makes us feel worse and more fearful about each other and the world . . . The experiment could be a useful one, though it will darken the hearts of the dark lords--a winning argument all its own."
      • premium: False
      • source: Zadie Smith, author of Feel Free

      • content: "Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now is not anti-tech or even anti-phone. It is one of the most optimistic books about the Internet I've ever read because it dares to hope for better. Profoundly skeptical of the business model that undergirds social media, Lanier demonstrates the ways in which our social media accounts make us not consumer but product, our every connection monitored by unseen third parties who harvest our data, monetize our communication, and curate and manipulate our behavior. Another online life is possible, but first we have to destroy the one we're trapped in. The great news is you don't have to take to the streets--you don't even have to leave your room. You can do it all by pressing one little key . . . A blisteringly good, urgent, essential read."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 30, 2018
        Virtual reality pioneer Lanier (Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality) tediously reiterates well-known pitfalls of social media, arguing that the major platforms are manipulating users’ thoughts, goading their inner trolls, tearing society apart, and just generally making everyone unhappy. Lanier, a Silicon Valley insider, spells out his arguments against social media in 10 breezy chapters with titles like “You Are Losing Your Free Will” and “Social Media Is Making Politics Impossible.” His underlying argument takes aim at the business models behind popular platforms like Facebook and Google that enable third-party actors such as advertisers—to pay to modify users’ behavior using personalized, continuously adjusted stimuli. Unfortunately, his short treatise is overridden with shallow political commentary (as when he refers to Trump as a victim of Twitter) and scant analysis of critical issues (he’s quick to dismiss the role of social media in the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, and the Arab Spring uprisings). Baseless generalizations and vague platitudes undermine the author’s case, which is particularly unfortunate given his experience and expertise in the world he skewers.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        In a book whose title says it all, technoprophet Lanier (Dawn of the New Everything, 2017, etc.) weighs in against predatory technoprofit.In a world of dogs, it's better to be a cat. So, in this brief polemic, writes the author, who uses the animal terms advisedly: Dogs are easily trained to respond to stimuli, as Ivan Pavlov knew; humans are as easily trained, à la B.F. Skinner, when given proper rewards. "Dog whistles," Lanier adds meaningfully, "can only be heard by dogs." Cats, on the other hand, live in the world while somehow not being quite of it, a model for anyone seeking to get out of the grasp of algorithms and maybe go outside for a calming walk. The metaphor has value. So does the acronym BUMMER, which Lanier coins to sum up the many pieces of his argument: "Behavior of Users Modified, and Made into an Empire for Rent." It's a little clunky, but the author scores points with more direct notes: "E," he writes, "is for Earning money from letting the worst assholes secretly screw with everyone else." As we're learning from the unfolding story of Cambridge Analytica, which just filed for bankruptcy, he's got a point. Lanier advocates untethering from social media, which fosters addiction and anomie and generally makes us feel worse and more fearful about each other and the world. Continuing the dog metaphor, it--Lanier uses "media" as a singular noun, which, considering its monolithic nature, may no longer send grammarians screaming--also encourages pack behavior, howling at strangers and sounds in the night. His central objection, though, would seem to be this: "We have enshrined the belief that the only way to finance a connection between two people is through a third person who is paying to manipulate them." If we accept that, then it's self-evident why one would want to unplug.The experiment could be a useful one, though it will darken the hearts of the dark lords--a winning argument all its own.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (Online Review)

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