Thanks for sharing this, Angus. I don’t know if you’ve encountered John Niles’s concept of Homo Narrans but you’re nailing it right here. We’re fundamentally story telling animals. If we lose control of the story we tell about ourselves, we’re in a lot of trouble.
I think this is what scares me the most about AI, AR, VR and an algorithm generated world. We’re turning the process of meaning making over to machines and asking them to curate the value for us. But what we’ve seen is that those algorithms are not being built for our mental well-being or emotional health, they’re being built to sell us stuff. They’re not trying to hide that, but we still drink it down like milk.
I actually heard someone else make the same comparison between digital media and addictive substances earlier today. Facebook, Apple and Google are the new Phillip Morris. They’re selling us on the supposed upsides of their products and getting us addicted. It’ll be interesting to see what the long term cultural consequences and health outcomes are.
In the meantime, I’m with you. When you recognize the addictive behavior, it’s good to take a step back. Just about anything is ok in moderation, but addiction to anything can kill you.