I noticed an old log entry comment (on this platform) that described tumblr with the words “addictive and disturbing”. I left this comment in reply:
Addictive and disturbing. I think you hit the nail on the head. I made a friend in the last four years, who I meet with in person, and she referred to it as “the nastiest social media site on the face of creation”. I’ve watched some of the kindest people turn into monsters while using it, too.
Sadly it boils down to brain science and advertising. The advertisers get sneakier too. If one has Windows 10 you often get a lovely scenic image when you begin. Even this is an advertisement that, if you fiddle with enough, will lead you to a travel agency to attempt to sell you tickets to a vacation spot. Reliable equipment becomes unreliable for these designs.
This has happened before, of course. Once upon a time you could get cable or satellite television with premium channels that had no product advertising. Along the way they would add in other channels that did have such advertising that were considered “extras”. The extras increased until we wound up paying for television that previously had been paid for by the advertisers anyway.
I think the saddest outcome in all of this is how those of diverse natures, or even rebellious ones, become part of a status-quo and group-think mentality. The worry over “approval” matters more than free will or freedom of choice.
And all of it provided by the competition for profit.