The Confusion about Social Media, Online, and TikToking the Day Away

November 20, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

This dinobaby is not into social media. Those who are present interesting, often orthogonal views of the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram public groups.

Concerning: Excessive Screen Time Linked to Lower Cognitive Function” reports:

In a new meta-analysis of dozens of earlier studies, we’ve found a clear link between disordered screen use and lower cognitive functioning.

I knew something was making it more and more difficult for young people to make change. In a remarkable demonstration of cluelessness, my wife told me that the clerk at our local drug store did not know what a half dollar was. My wife said, “I had to wait for the manager to come and tell the clerk that it was the same as 50 pennies.” There are other clues to the deteriorating mental acuity of some individuals. Examples range from ingesting trank to driving the wrong way on an interstate highway, a practice not unknown in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


The debate about social media, online content consumption, and TikTok addiction continues. I find it interesting how allegedly informed people interpret data about online differently. Don’t these people watch young people doing their jobs? Thanks, MSFT Copilot. You responded despite the Sam AI-Man Altman shock.

I understand that there are different ways to interpret data. For instance, A surprising “Feature of IQ Has Actually Improved over the Past 30 Years.” That write up asserts:

Researchers from the University of Vienna in Austria dug deep into the data from 287 previously studied samples, covering a total of 21,291 people from 32 countries aged between 7 and 72, across a period of 31 years (1990 to 2021).

Each individual had completed the universally recognized d2 Test of Attention for measuring concentration, which when taken as a whole, showed a moderate rise in concentration levels over the decades, suggesting adults are generally better able to focus compared with people more than 30 years ago.

I have observed this uplifting benefit of social media, screen time, and swiping. A recent example is that a clerk at our local organic food market was intent on watching a video on his mobile phone. Several people were talking softly as they waited for the young person to put down his phone and bag the groceries. One intrusive and bold person spoke up and said, “Young man, would you put down your phone and put the groceries in the sack?” The young cognitively improved individual ignored her. I then lumbered forward like a good dinobaby and said, “Excuse me, I think you need to do your job.” When he became aware of my standing directly in front of him, he put down his phone. What concentration!

Is social media and its trappings good or bad? Wait, I need to check my phone.

Stephen E Arnold, November 20, 2023


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