We have already entered a brave new world, in a manner of speaking, in which our interface with digital technology is effectively necessary for everyday life. This has created not just new ways of living and interacting with information and each other but also new economic models, especially around information. Social media and, in its wake, the corporate press have, in their relentless pursuit of engagement (thus revenue), evolved into a situation in which selling anxiety is highly profitable. Why? Because when your device makes you anxious, for many people they will turn further into their device to find a resolution to their anxiety. This creates a self-sustaining loop that’s great for social media engagement and news-media engagement, thus profits for those companies, but not so great for you, upon whose well-being that profit is being earned.
You have to break the loop. You have to realize that the device that brought you anxiety is, perhaps, the least likely device to resolve your anxiety, especially through platforms that effectively sell pathological and self-reinforcing anxiety as a business model. What’s the remedy? In this episode of my subscribers-only podcast, James Lindsay OnlySubs, I offer some simple advice: when you feel the anxiety rising, unplug and go get real. Go outside; do something physical; have sex; do something else and stop looking for peace and resolution in the device that’s selling you your stress. Join me for a candid discussion of this topic!
Previous episodes of OnlySubs can be found here.