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Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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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)

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Profile Image for Zack Orr
  • Zack Orr
  • 26-06-18

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.”

18 people found this helpful

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  • troy
  • 30-12-19

Great topic, but too much of authors politics.

It's unfortunate that with such an intriguing topic, the author kills his own message with him anti-Trump, anti-conservative messages. Does EVERYTHING a liberal does have to tie in Trump? Jesus, all I wanted was to hear/read about the shadyness of behavior modification as I am detaching as well, but I get 5 hours of political behavior modification.

10 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Craig D. Lawrence Jr.
  • Craig D. Lawrence Jr.
  • 23-06-20

Hatred for Trump Interferes with book

I really enjoyed the premise of quitting social media. It’s fascinating and horrifying what Facebook and others know about their users. However, the author’s hatred of Trump just dragged on to the extent that it took away from what would have otherwise been a good book. By the last several chapters, it became so much that I decided to write one of my few reviews because it really succumbed to what is wrong with social media by doing this.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Edgar
  • 05-01-19

Wow... wow... WOW. A MUST listen/read for everyone

As a Technologist myself, I’ve seen personally how social media and it’s algorithms can destroy lifelong friendships and even my own marriage. This is the first book I’ve come across that coherently and very effectively describes all the main challenges and the damage social media platforms are causing our society simply because of s faulty business model. I strongly suggest anyone with a social media account of any type read or listen to this book before carrying on in their online life. Lastly, I would like the author, Jaron Lanier, for taking the time to publish this amazing piece of work. I agree with you on all points and thank you for your contribution to helping make our world a better place.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 26-07-18

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • vmp
  • 17-08-18

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”.

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  • Necessity Lorelei
  • 23-09-19

Propaganda filled with no intelligent arguments.

I wanted to like this book. I like everyone else know that social media has a dark side. I wanted well researched, formulated, arguments. An intelligent book that speaks to what we know and has references. This book is not that type of book. It tells you what you already know, all while the author points out his influential friends, his morality and pushes his own biases. He talks to you as if your an obstinate child with a low IQ. I felt it had only one good point that social media has the intention to exploit your data to make you a better consumer...and yet we all knew that before buying this book. This is the first book I have ever returned to audible. The propaganda lace drivel has annoyed me to the point of me making my money speak my opinion for me.

7 people found this helpful

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  • GiaJulianA
  • 18-08-18

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.

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  • Allie Iacobelli
  • 25-08-20

Surprised by how slow & dry it is; not convincing.

I purchased this title WANTING to be convinced; I've been on the fence about whether I should remove social media from my life entirely for quite a while, and while I suspect it that would have an overall positive impact in my life, I'm a very scientific/fact-driven person and I want to weigh all of the evidence and data, and based on the description given of the book, This sounded like the perfect place to start. I was on board for the first several arguments, but soon realized that in order to follow the entire book, you actually need to memorize the several acronyms used - maybe if I was reading the physical edition and could highlight, take notes, and easily flip back to reference all the acronyms, definitions, and niche vocabulary introduced, I could've followed better. For instance, early on, the author's defines a "B.U.M.M.E.R" and the way you remember what a BUMMER is, is that a bummer will always A.B.C.D.E.F - I understood all of this information and exactly what the author was trying to convey and define. From that point on, however, pretty much every paragraph contains the phrase "BUMMER" - while the author uses the word as a verb and a noun. Since this is a phrase you've just learned, when you hear the word 'bummer', you're still going to go to your context of 'bummer' in your head, not the authors - and then you remember it's this BUMMER, but what was the criteria for something to be a BUMMER? ABCDEF? The "arguments" get increasingly repetitive as you go on, most varying slightly from each other; the evidence given is all common sense/common knowledge, not the hard facts I was looking for. Again, I think if I read it and could flip back and maybe take some notes, I'd follow better and enjoy it. Definitely do not recommend as Audiobook though.

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Profile Image for @CyberSpaceSA
  • @CyberSpaceSA
  • 22-11-18

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.

5 people found this helpful