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Publisher's Summary

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now is a timely call-to-arms from a Silicon Valley pioneer. 

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we’re better off without them. In his important new audiobook, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms behind before it’s too late. 

Lanier’s reasons for freeing ourselves from social media’s poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more “connected” than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the “benefits” of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? 

Lanier remains a tech optimist, so while demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us towards richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

©2018 Jaron Lanier (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Oliver Wyman brings his full complement of vocalizations to this polemic on social media and what it is doing to us. His cadence and delivery are spot-on...." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

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One of the most important books in recent history

This should be required listening before anyone is allowed to use social media. It is clear that the author is a liberal so conservative listeners may be put off....BUT, politics aside, everything he says regarding social media not only rings true but is backed up with scientific studies. You should get this book “right now.”

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Columbia, SC, United States
  • 07-26-18

Thoughtful and persuasive

This is a provocative summary of some powerful arguments against using social media as they are presently organized. Very well worth a listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Compelling, must read!

Very cogent arguments by Jaron Lanier. What's the adage, you never get something for nothing? Society has sacrificed too much so that a few technocrats profit, capitalizing on negativity, and manipulating our everyday experiences. The end result is bitter tribalism which ups engagement. Irony is that perhaps the outrage that keeps us hooked might only exist inside the SM matrix, but is spilling over with real world consequences.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Must Read

Wake up humanity to this reality check. Listen carefully to the arguments and make a decision that will benefit you, your loved ones, and your “friends”.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The Book to Read/Listen to!

Wow! Just listen, you need to know this information! This book explains in detail most of the recent social issues of the times. It's more than the title says, in ways to help one navigate through social media if one decides to keep their accounts. Read, listen, and decide for yourself, take your power back!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Such An Important Message

I wish that everyone could hear this. I believe that social media is the tobacco of our time that it causes mental illness and has led to a viciously divided society nearly everywhere. Jaron Lanier has a financial interest in the success of such efforts and yet, he's deleted all his own social media accounts and is warning you of the dangers. In next year's "Zucked" a similar message will be delivered by a major shareholder in Facebook. Yup, even the people getting rich on your misery are starting to wish there was another way. This is unprecedented in human history. Big tobacco never came forward to tell you it was ruining you. Social media is. Listen. Now. The arguments here are well constructed, easy to listen to and incredibly relevant to all of us. Buy this book if you buy anything this year and then give the experiment at the end of it a try.

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Excellent Overview of Downside of Social Media

There is a lot of good ideas presented in Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier.

However, it's always best to stay objective and "follow the middle path". Actually, it's not necessary to "delete your social media accounts" to accomplish 90% (pick a number) of the goals and objectives Jaron advocates. You can simply use your phone much less and, at the same time, correctly set your privacy, location and ad settings (disable them). While this is not a perfect solution it is much better than the alternative of just deleting your account in a world where many importance services use social media, including your local fire department, utility company and other important services.

The problem with Jaron's hard core perspective is that he does not use social media to engage with the many services that have moved to social media, like the local fire department, rescue services, weather services, tsunami alert services and more. Jaron is a very smart and articular person, but he advocates an unnecessarily extreme position and perhaps that is what he wished to do - "shock and awe the audience".

I think the same applies to food, drink, sex and just about everything. In the Western diet, most of the foods people consume, especially sugar, is bad for the body. We don't tell people do delete all sweet foods from their diet. OK, that's not a very good analogy, but you get the idea. Extremism is not the answer to the social media problem we are facing in society.

You should definitely set your privacy settings on Facebook and Google to not track your location and not use your personal information for ad targeting. You should not use the Login with Facebook feature when you access other sites (never do this) and you should turn off sharing information with any app. If you use your settings correctly. and check them regularly, and restrict Facebook correctly, that will go a long way to take you off the main grid. Also, turn off running Facebook in the background so you are only using Facebook when you are actually using Facebook. Your battery will also last longer.

I really enjoyed Jaron's book and admire his intellect and communications skills. I'm sure I will listen to another one of his audio books. This book was great and I really enjoyed it even though I did find the position Jaron took a bit extreme, especially for someone who does not use social media for the services that benefit so many people. On the other hand, I agree with him that there is a huge problem and tremendous growing pains with social media; but unlike Jaron, I have faith the privacy pendulum will swing back toward more and more privacy choices. It always does.

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Interesting eye opener

The thesis is Bummer companies do harm in more ways than we probably have thought of. The author touches lightly and sometimes shallowly on certain concepts, but overall a good read. Great performance.

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Interesting point of view

Great book about why Social Media is kind of a problem. If you're struggling with social media addiction and manipulated behavior (probably you are not even aware of it), this book is for you. Good counter argument of the common: -be present on the Internet-.

#Addiction #Clever #tagsgiving #sweepstakes #Inspiring

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Thought Provoking Conversation about Social Media

Just what I expected. Lanier gives ten arguments for why everyone should delete his social media account right now. Of course, he prefaces his arguments at the beginning by stating that these are not arguments specifically for deleting your social media accounts, but rather about rethinking how one uses them in his personal and professional personas.

I thought the first few arguments were great. I could stand a criticism of our current political leaders here and there. (Just because I disagree with someone's politics doesn't mean I must condemn their writings!) However, I consider the last four arguments rather weak. I stopped listening at argument nine, which seems to be based on a revisionist view of current events.

Overall, Lanier has presented us technophiles with a thought-provoking book. I don't expect us all to agree on the details of his arguments (or his conclusions for that matter), but I do believe this will give us something to discuss over coffee.