12 november 2018

I've taken a social media break: have been off Twitter for about six months but last week I found that Mastodon and Facebook were being just as bad for my mood. Not so much the content as the constant cycle of posting, checking, following up. I was about to type 'dopamine cycle' but I'm trying to avoid that sort of thinking, because it reduces us to banks of neurotransmitters which the social media companies and the corporations behind the ads play like puppets. I think the realit is messier and not necessarily more pleasant than that. It's an example of a common pattern, the use of opaque jargon to reduce a social reality to a pat phrase. If you are like me, ie not a biochemist or neurologist, "dopamine" denotes nothing, it's just a label which says "this aspect of behaviour can be reduced to chemistry and can be bracketed as such".