Social media changes who we are
Richard House [RH]: Charles, you’ve recently made major changes in your life with regard to tech. It’s tremendous that a young chap like you is taking such a path! What changes have you made?
Charles Carmichael [CC]: I’ve stopped using both smartphones and social media, and I also try to use the internet as little as possible. I’ve got an old blackberry classic model, which functions for calls, texts, and as an mp3 player, which I use as my phone. The old blackberry infrastructure has been shut down, making it perfect as a cheap ‘dumb’ phone.
RH: So what led you to make these changes?
CC: There are quite a few reasons. I could list the common complaints levelled at social media and smartphones: that our mental health, family lives, interpersonal relationships, attention spans, and our ability to make sense out of life itself, are all compromised by them. For me, these are merely symptoms of a deeper problem: that social media sites actually change who we are, in terms of our use of language and way of seeing the world, as a result of how algorithms sponsor particular content.
Continue reading on page 12 in the August 2023 The Light issue