Andrew Keen, the author of the formerly sensational “Cult of Amateur — How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture” has come out with his next book, “Digital Vertigo.” Andrew’s latest concern is that individuals can’t help but lose their “inner self” when overusing social media. Every sentiment that a human has these days must be validated externally, and this can be disruptive to a human’s personal creative and maturation processes. He argues that social media has us skipping our own personal analyses for Crowdsourced ones off of Facebook. He discusses this and more in a video interview with CNet’s Dan Farber.
Andrew Keen truly feels that social media is “killing our species”, and explains that he feels that social media is sacrificing what it is to be human as we all begin to “live so publicly”. He bases his book, “Digital Vertigo”, on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, where a man falls in love with a corpse. The idea being that we fall in love with something dead and lifeless online — ours and others’ social media profiles.
He cites LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, who states he thinks it is wrong to assume that we are naturally social creatures. This means that the systems we use are in fact incentivizing us in such a way to make us behave more socially than we normally would. This is true — the system of likes and comments on Facebook are definitely addictive to some people.
He also looks at John Stuart Mill who stated that we define ourselves and find our creativity when we work to achieve independence from the norm within a social space. The idea being that we have to carve out our own space to actually achieve innovation and creativity — social networks make that space incredibly difficult to find. He fears that the social space will strip everyone online (5 Billion by 2020) of their personal space and meaning.
“Is sharing evil?” Andrew responds that Sean Parker’s new start-up indicated that he wanted to “end loneliness,” and that goals like these are stripping the essence of humanity. Andrew believs we are changing to a mass informational society, and that the fragmentary nature of this new social movement doesn’t give individuals what they need to personally succeed.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think in the comments below.