Daniel Sinclair @_DanielSinclair Building for young people. Not reading @danielsunread. Lurking behind likes and thinking about social media, communication, & China. Sep. 28, 2019 1 min read

There is something so fucking dark about these social media inflicted deaths. It’s not the sole causation, but the addictive nature of virality shifts our risk profiles. Attention seeking and camera addiction killed this man.  https://youtu.be/t7REaTOyvXY 

There have been quite a few of these stories, of attempted proposal videos for Instagram or Facebook going wrong — with couples falling off cliffs, or wild fires raging out of control. Selfies can be directly attested to more than 250 deaths already.

Networks like ABC run w/ these tragic stories — but only after they promote the nonstop ‘feel good’ cringe that is modern America’s capture culture. Virality is different now; it’s more centralized to these content farm networks. They’re the feedback loop.

Give how the last 2 years have unfolded, I don’t think I would call this ad from @karenxcheng fun anymore. It’s eerily accurate and poignant.

“If only I could just get one viral video”  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/19/us/youtube-shooting-minnesota-guilty-plea.html 

I’ve attested a lot of this to the umbrella of what I call the ‘GoPro effect.’

Whether a mob screaming ‘world star’ or a boyfriend pushing it to the next height, there is something fundamentally new about the power cameras provide us, even when unnetworked. It is equally as dangerous — and it is a hack far older than social media.

Some of my favorite work on these challenges, of these flaws of our ability to interact with these superpowers, is from John Koenig. We talk about addiction — but it almost feels like our ability to remain conscious has receded as we’ve externalized.

Looking at the other side of that capture is also so deeply fascinating, and that’s forgotten in these tragedies. It’s the millennials that are dying, w/ their successors evolving to stimulus & addiction — or we could just be blind to their consequences.

I’m deeply optimistic about the Augmented Reality future that is barreling towards us. But it’s the camera on those glasses, & how it shifts our consciousness & our risk, that frightens me. The visual plane is limitless, until always-on becomes on-the-edge

But maybe that fear just makes me a nostalgic old 😌

You can follow @_DanielSinclair.


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