I’m going to keep this one short because the author, Cyrus Krohn, has agreed to be a guest on our new podcast, Under Fire, where we will talk about the daily crises happening because of social media.
I’ve known Cyrus for many years and I think he’s brilliant. He was actually ahead of me in adopting digital in politics which is saying something because I consider myself one of the first to jump on this train. While I’ve kept up over Facebook with what Cyrus has been up to, I didn’t realize until the epilogue of this book that he’s been doing a lot of work in other nations, especially Malaysia.
This book was really weird for me because I found myself both loving it and hating it at the same exact time.
I loved this book because Cyrus rightly lays out the role social media and digital as a whole have played in the political fracturing of America. I hated it because in doing so Cyrus makes me feel like complete shit as there is little doubt that I have played a part, maybe a large part, in creating the problem.
Cyrus goes into detail explaining where this is all heading if we don’t shift course, the way we got here, and a few solutions on how we can fix what we’ve broken.
I look forward to discussing some of the solutions because, while I don’t completely disagree with them, I do have some hesitations. For starters, I’m always weary of anything that starts with or includes more government regulation. Frankly, when it comes to government regulation of the Internet, I see it as a bunch of yahoos making rules about things they don’t completely or even partially understand. I’m not sure big government can solve a problem after seeing what happened when liberally controlled social media companies tried to solve the problem. I’m just more skeptical than Cyrus seems to be.
There’s also the issue of data. I think advertising sucks because we are bombarded all day every day with shit marketing we don’t need or want to see. Data makes advertising better because we are pushed ideas, news, and products we are interested in. I would much rather see news about space exploration or products that build my fitness rather than ads about pickup trucks or cleaning products. The problem with this slippery slope is that we create echo chambers affirming our beliefs and even making us hate the other side rather than seeing content that broadens our minds. Frankly, I do not know how to find the balance. I really want to dive into this with Cyrus. As I write this post I think the podcast is going to have to be a two or three-parter.
This nation is headed down a dark path and Cyrus explains why. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves America.
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