The Internet Is Leaking [Content Made Simple]
Issue #245: Eating disorders and social media, prepping for the metaverse, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
The first possibility is that all of this metaverse nonsense is a desperate death gasp from an irrelevant and bloated company on its way out. Meta was forced into this pivot by Frances Haugen’s leaks and this is the beginning of the end for them. The other possibility is that this will work. Zuckerberg will overlay our current world with a new virtual one — that he owns — which will allow his algorithms to further embed themselves into the way we talk, dress, eat, and socialize.
Ryan Broderick is one of the best thinkers and writers on the current state of the social internet. I love his newsletter Garbage Day. It’s tremendous. He’s currently at the biggest internet conference in the world and, as you can imagine, it’s an interesting year for such a conference. This newsletter is full of great observations and considerations.
HITTING THE LINKS
Great piece here on an important, sad topic. I’ll be writing on content moderation in a couple of weeks, but this is a great example of how it is not just a “Facebook problem.” It’s a social media problem.
“Having the awareness that you are being followed and that people are listening to you and seeking your guidance bears with it a certain level of responsibility,” Dr. Booth Watkins said. “Reliable and valid information about weight loss, particularly on social media, should only be done by qualified, licensed nutritionists.”
I think we’re still feeling the negative consequences of Christians not taking social media seriously in the early 2000s, seeing it as a fleeting teenage fad. I cannot fully express how grateful I am that a platform like TGC is taking the metaverse seriously. We shouldn’t roll our eyes at this stuff. A hot-or-not website started by a Harvard student almost 20 years ago was used as a tool in an attempt to topple the American government less than a year ago. These things we are tempted to shrug off can become a big deal.
Henry Ford didn’t set out to create megachurches. But before the advent of the personal vehicle, most Christians seeking a church faced a simple denominational decision: do you attend the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, or Catholic church around the corner? With a vehicle, Christians could suddenly attend whichever church had the best children’s ministry programming, youth activities, and rock ’n’ roll Sunday morning worship—as long as it was within 10 to 30 minutes of driving. We became consumers because we could be consumers. Indeed, churches appealed to our consumerism by offering a menu of ministries so expansive it could make a Cheesecake Factory server blush.
This is written by Katie Harbath, former Facebook exec. I saw her speak once while she was still there. Very good analysis and explanation.
I find myself on an emotional rollercoaster as feelings and memories come back to me about these times. I remember the intense discussions and debates we had. The excitement when a leadership decision went the way we all hoped it would go (I’ll never forget yelling a little too loudly in an airport bar, “Yes! They picked option 3!”) and the frustration when we were faced with really hard choices and it felt like we were going in circles. Through it all, we created a support system as we tried to do as much work as we could with the resources given to us knowing that there was so much more to do.
THE FUNNY PART
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