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William Shatner to Those Over 55: The Internet is Not That Complicated

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Examining social media culture today: are we addicted to our apps?

Larry King NowMar 23 '16

With new studies linking cases of anxiety and depression to obsessive social media use, Larry welcomes a panel of experts and influencers— including Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Nicholas Carr — to evaluate the good, the bad and the ugly of the ever-expanding digital world.


*Posted Online on Ora.TV on March 23rd 2016:

“Looking at their phones are usually the first thing [teens] do, because they use their phones as alarm clocks, and studies show that it’s also the last thing they look at before going to bed. So this is, for the first time in history, this is really something different. It’s different from T.V. It’s different from movies. It’s different from other things. Never have we had a technology or a media that we were interacting with kind of constantly whenever we are awake. I think, as you would suspect, it changes the way people behave. It changes the way they think. It changes the way they socialize.”–Nicholas Carr on how growth in technology has affected human behavior

“The way that [social media] is fed to you is very reward heavy. You know, you talk about addictions giving you a tiny reward every time you feed them, and a lot of these apps are structured in a way where that is definitely the case.”–Sarah Kessler on how social media uses rewards to incentivise us to come back

“I think it taps into a couple of really deep instincts as human beings. One is the instinct to gather information. We want to know everything that is going on around us, and now with a phone in our hand there is no end to new information that’s available. We want to constantly check it. The second instinct it taps into is our social instinct. A lot of the information throwing through social media is, as the name makes clear, social. You want to know what your friends are talking about, what other people you know are talking about, and if you’re cut off from that flow of conversation. Even very briefly, you feel kind of left out, and we don’t like to feel socially left out. So this, as Sarah said, companies like Facebook that make these apps and supply this information are quite sophisticated in how this taps into our very primitive instincts and they know how to keep us coming back for more, and that’s what we do.”–Nicholas Carr on how social media taps into human instinct

“When you’re an isolated youth dealing with identity issues and you can reach out to a planet of people that can make you feel like you’re less alone, there is a huge positive impact in that. The other side of that is that if I am just on my phone walking around UCLA and not interacting with people, then I am creating an isolation. I think it’s that balance when you are using it sort of appropriately it opens up and can kill isolation, and if you overdo it, it can create it. I think there is a fine line there, as least from the social perspective of the young people I work with.” –Dr. Jeff Nalin on how isolation is affected by social media use

“With any new innovation, you’re going to have to gauge what that healthy balance is for you. I know for me, social media and blogging has given me an incredible reach, and I have connected with people I never otherwise would have met. It’s gone from digital relationship to a personal relationship.”– Hannah Payne on how social media has changed how people form relationships

“Anytime we are alone, we’re not alone anymore because you can just turn on your phone and connect so we don’t have those periods when we are following our own train of thought, when are thinking deeply, when we’re disconnected. That’s important and I am concerned that we are losing that as individuals and as a society and culture.” –Nicholas Carr on how people are no longer alone with their thoughts

“The goal of adolescence is to develop a healthy sense of self-identity so you can go out into the world and social media can impact that in both ways. When I think about the positive aspect of that, some people spend a tremendous amount of time developing this digital identity and they get isolated and they get anxious when they are disconnected from themselves and others. If you can take the skill set they created in creating that digital identity and transfer it to real conversation, real interactions, and therefore a sense of your own self identity, I think that it could have been the starting point of something healthy.”–Dr. Jeff Nalin on the positive aspects of social media

“I think I started ‘Practically Imperfect’ from a very organic place. I started it because I had been acting and modeling basically my entire childhood and it was such a sense of pure joy for me. I wanted to create this creative space per say on the internet where I can share my interest in fashion and lifestyle and it’s grown to something where I connect with other bloggers and teen girls and been able to connect with even brands. So yeah it’s definitely been beneficial for me.” –Hannah Payne on how social media has helped start her career and show her interests to the world

“I think that every time a new medium pops up and politicians begin to use it, it changes the nature of the political conversation. We saw it with radio back in the 1930’s, we saw it with TV in the 1960’s, and I think we are seeing it now with social media today. The good thing is some people who didn’t participate at all in the political process are being drawn into it through social media. The bad part of it is that what attracts notice and attention on social media are often kind of outrageous statements and I think if you look at Donald Trump’s Twitter account, for instance, you can understand why he gets lots of attention. He knows how to use the medium for better or for worse. So I think the danger is that we go from TV type sound bites to even narrower abrasive sound bites as the candidates seek to grab the ever fickle attention of the social media user.” –Nicholas Carr on how social media can affect the outcome of politics

“Some people say that Facebook isn’t ‘cool anymore,’ but the reality is that Facebook has more users than some countries have people. So they are probably not going anywhere and just because your mom uses it, it is not the sign of it’s demise. They have been successful. Some people say Snapchatis a replacement thing for cool kids, but what I am really excited about are actual social networks that are starting to deal with this problem of overload. So there are a few now who only share one thing a day and the idea is that you shared the best thing, so people don’t have to be bombarded with 100 links a day, 100 photos a day, and we can have a higher quality of less pinging.” –Sarah Kessler on upcoming social media sites that may change how people interact with each other