A world that's designed to make you sad and angry

You wake up, brush your teeth and decide to check Instagram. There’s the friend that’s doing better than you at life. There’s the friend that’s having fun at the vacation while you work your job.

You decide that Instagram is too self-obsessed and decide to do something constructive. Maybe read the news, that’s a good thing, right? You should know what’s happening around the world. Well, another day of a bigoted government trying to bully a minority [1][2]. Or another person that’s dead because of shitty systemic problems that no one is incentivized to solve [3][4][5].

I’ve recently realized that social media and news is designed to make you feel bad. If you feel bad, you react to stuff more.

Facebook has published an actual paper on their experiment of mass manipulation of around 700k people’s emotions [6]. So yeah, I’ve recently realized that I’ve been paying people (directly or indirectly) to make me sad.

What’s the way forward here? I don’t know.

I’m gonna stop reading the news, it’s too much stress for me. My brain is not designed to handle all of the world’s crises at the same time. I’m also gonna stop using social media websites with prior history of trying to manipulate my emotions and make me sad in the name of an experiment.

There has to be a better way to know what’s happening around you and what your friends are up to. There needs to be some de-incentivization of the fake news reality and the fake instagram reality that we’re all buying into.

References

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52932611

  2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/06/feed-them-bullets-not-biriyani-bjp-uses-delhi-elections-to-stoke-religious-hatred

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Palghar_mob_lynching

  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Delhi_riots

  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_vigilante_violence_in_India

  6. https://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full