Academic Philosophy Events in the Netherlands
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Meeting 21 – Peer Review Circle Practical Philosophy
26 January 2018 @ 17:30 - 19:30
We will meet to discuss a paper by Michael Klenk, entitled ‘The Tyranny of Joy – On the Moral Consequences of using Social Media in the Attention Economy’.
Social media usage is soaring globally. What are the ethical consequences? I make a negative and a positive point about the ethical consequences of social media use. The negative point is that existing views that counsel caution about increased social media use, which argue that social media use negatively affects our brains and that social media use inhibits self-control, are ill-supported by the evidence. The positive point is that a more cautionary Cautionary View is nonetheless called for. Given the economic incentives of social media providers and their abilities at using persuasive technology to increase usage time of their platforms, the rise of social media threatens to separate its users from wanting what they want to want. The freedom to want what we want to want for the right reason is valuable but threatened by the dynamics of the attention economy and our own susceptibility to immediate rewards. The attention economy might well give rise to an internal tyranny of joy that is detrimental to our freedom, or so I argue. I close by considering, and rejecting, two objections against the cautionary Cautionary View.
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