'Mark Zuckerberg is the most dangerous man on Earth' - Professor Scott Galloway
Recently, international companies have been pausing their Facebook spends for a number of reasons. Those are the big guys. What about us? How can we the little guys fight back?
If you are disgusted by what social media is doing to New Zealand - pitting us against each other with rage-inducing data mining algorithms of greed - then what can you do as a person?
Well, you could try not looking at your phone the next time you feel like looking at it. Try not doing it once and it might lead to a habit.
Have you ever found yourself staring at your phone while your children are trying to talk to you? I have. It's not good. But it's easy to fix. When you catch yourself just stop. Any moment is a good moment to reset and zone back in with the people you love.
A recent Vodafone study found 32 per cent of New Zealand respondents admitted to using their phones behind the wheel. Clearly this is a bad idea.
As my dad used to say 'keep your bloody eyes on the road, you idiot'. But it points to a depressing truth. Our devices and the social media on them are so addictive we will risk everything to stare into their void. We are addicts.
Neuroscientist Dr Judson Brewer, author of The Craving Mind wrote: "Addiction can be defined as continued use, despite adverse consequences. We lose sleep when we check our phones in the middle of the night. We endanger ourselves by driving while texting. We even obsess over social media, ignoring our family members, friends or co-workers."
Social media makes us jealous, angry and unhappy and that's not even the worse of it. The big social media companies aren't just ruining our lives.
Matt Heath: Want to feel great? Try running in the rain
Confessions of a 'cat daddy' and why it's such a turn-off
Matt Heath: The one question NZ men need to ask each other
They are tearing us apart as a people. These are evil companies, playing us against each other and selling the information from the horror to advertisers.
NYU professor, entrepreneur and the world's leading tech business thinker Scott Galloway put it this way: "What these companies have done is created a business model where the most incendiary, upsetting, controversial, and oftentimes false and damaging things get more oxygen than they deserve because we are a tribal species and when people say things that are upsetting we tend to engage. Engagement equals enrichment. The more rage equals the more clicks equals the more ads."
These foreign social media companies are burning the world to the ground for their own gain. Taking from New Zealand and giving nothing back.
Wouldn't it be cool if we all cut the bastards out of our lives for the good of ourselves and our country? Unfortunately, it's not that easy. We've gone and got ourselves addicted.
Every-time you look at your phone you re-enforce the habit loop making it harder to stop looking. Checking Facebook, flicking through Instagram and reading tweets may give as a brief dopamine hit but every time we scratch the itch it makes us more likely to go back again.
Every visit takes us further away from our lives. Next time you are about to. Try not looking. That's a victory. One little piece of resistance. One back for the good guys.
Whenever a company buys advertising on social media they are utilising evil data mining to target you.
They didn't buy local. Social media gives almost nothing back to New Zealand. So the least we can do for our country is actively ignore the advertising that pops up on Facebook and YouTube. Look away. That's another little one back for the good guys.
We are so addicted to our devices we will risk it all while driving. We waste the most productive times of our life on social media and drive ourselves crazy doing it. Why? All to make a few foreign sociopaths a lot richer.
If you want to cut back. Try this simple version of Dr Brewer's techniques. Next time you feel like checking social media- don't. Don't go there as often as you can. Because every time you don't do what they want you to do you loosen their addictive grip on you just a little.
You weaken the neural pathway that sends you to them. If you don't go to your phone 100 times you may just break free. That would be a huge victory for the good guys. You could use the time you gain doing good for yourself, your work, your family and your country.
Keep your bloody eyes on the road, you idiot.