I often go under the radar of using social media when I consume a lot of content, mindlessly scrolling is something is I stay away from.
There is this popular quote from Nicolas Carr – We are hammered by so much content around us, that our brain is confused often times and we are swamped by the never-ending pressure of keeping up with it without realizing we actually don’t need it.
We Are Consuming Junk – Clickbait content messes our brains with gossip, movie, music, and addictive games. same reason, people get distracted from work and tired from frequent social media notifications and caffeine addictions, we think we are at peak productive but actually, it’s the opposite.
The 3 PHASES
- The pace of content circulation has tremendously increased, A decade ago we had to have to wait to get a newspaper or gossip with friends to get our news, but not anymore. All thanks to texts, alerts, and other notifications, now the news finds us the moment the writer hits Publish.
- The budget for news production is literally zero now, anyone sitting at home can make viral content with a phone in hand on the other hand there is a massive drop in the quality of the news we consume. Publishers write 10- 12 blog posts a day for major newspapers. It’s nearly impossible to write something thoughtful on one topic, let alone write 12 posts writing (a long-form article with deep research takes time) over the course of a year, which works out to writing 2880 articles now the article is being written to optimize views and page rank. The fluency of the person we are getting our news from in the subject they’re covering is near zero, as a result, we are filling our brains with junk.
- Creators of news, attempt to draw our attention with clickbait (Thumb rule of content creation in making the first 3 seconds interesting), News producers create a culture of “Keep watching, don’t miss out, follow this or you’ll miss out. As we consume more such junk news, we miss out on things that actually matter or things to get done for the day hence productivity drains.
The incentives are misaligned, since there is a lot of competition, most content/news producers feel compelled to offer free news. After all, everyone else is doing it. Although when the news is free, we pay our time by watching advertising, so when we don’t pay for news (subscription) big media houses have to rely on advertising as the source of revenue to captive users to a model that’s selling the audience to advertisers. Pageviews become metrics to track and the more it is the better they earn.