When do I leave social media

Jaron Lanier: This man wants us to leave Facebook immediately

The internet's favorite animal is the cat. In this respect, it is logical that someone who co-invented the Internet decades ago and who has criticized it for just as long should start his new pamphlet with cats. Cats even outperform sloths, lory monkeys, and baby pandas, delivering the most popular videos and most viral memes; they have achieved the seemingly impossible: to be in our high-tech world without giving up their stubbornness or changing their being. “We have to become cats again,” writes Jaron Lanier, and that is the philosophical climax of his all-round attack on social networks.

Makers and adversaries

Jaron Lanier is one of the interesting species of those in Silicon Valley who are the creators of the system and, at the same time, its intellectual adversaries: In the eighties, he developed a data glove for the computer game manufacturer Atari with which one could move around in virtual space and thus the term "virtual reality ”. He composed music, built instruments and played with Philip Glass and Yoko Ono.

He has taught computer science at Ivy League universities and has written bestselling non-fiction books about the dangers of artificial intelligence. He works for the research department of Microsoft and received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2014, where he concluded his acceptance speech in Frankfurt's Paulskirche, cradling his dreadlocks over his baggy black jacket, playing on a 16-tube Khaen flute.

Social networks make us unfree

We are in a state of mass dependence, argues Lanier in his new book: Networks like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter do not increase the freedom of the individual, it decreases because the respective user is affected by different technological, group dynamic, psychological and neurological factors being integrated more and more into the network structures.