Rags of Light

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The Upside of Social Media Blackouts.

Sri Lanka imposed a social media blackout after the massacres. This piece reflects on the risks (authoritarianism) and upside. Quote:

Overall the sound of silence is not only more dignified for the dead, but also more beautiful to my ears. What have I ever gained from social media during terror attacks? Nothing, I expect, that I couldn’t have obtained more easily and with greater certainty elsewhere. And if so: Why do we bother, either consuming or producing social media posts during these events? I know I am not alone in wondering whether social media is not so much a new medium for communication as a novel form of mass psychosis, more like ergot poisoning than the invention of moveable type. It is a compulsive behavior that induces delusions about what is individually or collectively healthy. I hope that in the future we find more ways to mute it voluntarily.