When you think about the types of behaviors that get attention, they are not the behaviors that make for a good society or a good public culture. You’re not going to get attention on certain forms of social media for being kind, empathetic or thoughtful. The dark side is that people are rewarded for behaviors that might not be for the public good. Do you think that Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton and Donald Trump are the people who should get the most attention in our country? No! They are people who are very good at gaming the system. As long as we have an attention economy, as long as there are economic incentives to try to get a lot of attention, then we are going to have people producing content with the only aim of getting attention. And the people who are the best propagandists are the ones who are able to get their message across. Which perspectives and role models and thoughts are we missing out on, since they’re not bubbling to the top of this stew of attention-seeking content?
Alice Marwick, together with Miranda Giacomin, interviewed by Molly Rose Kaufman.
In Kinfolk: https://kinfolk.com/narcissism-social-media-power/