Surya's Essays

Slow and Steady

Fast Food is like Fast Media

Originally:

In a river, you have fast water flowing near the top, while there's very slowly moving sediment/rocks at the bottom.

Suppose a goal is to get as much mass in rocks/sediment as possible.

There are two ways of doing so: You can stay at the top of the river, going fast, getting bursts of dopamine, and keep telling yourself you're doing great. Along the way you'll catch some pebbles near the top of the river and by the end you'll be a lot farther and have mass of rocks/sediments *m*. You could at the same time, just stay near the bottom, collecting many rocks, trying to fight some of the slow currents near the bottom of the river, but gaining a lot more mass, more slowly, but not having such a great time. By the end of the river, if you had stayed at the bottom, you'd have a lot more mass than if you had stayed near the top. What I'm trying to get at here is:
Over the past decade, we've gone from books to Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat, and now to Musically and TikTok. Although understandably, the majority of people haven't platform-hopped this fast, it shows that many people (or at least younger people) are looking for very very short-form content that may give them a small dopamine rush. Overtime if you had gone through Facebook as opposed to TikTok, you'd probably gotten a lot more dopamine from TikTok. By the end of the day you'd have gained nearly nothing from TikTok (at least I don't see anything of substance in that platform from extremely limited experience) and gained a little bit from maybe Facebook (suppose you read an article or learned something about your friend) and if you had instead read a book, you'd probably get a lot more mass than either of these platforms, regardless of time.

I think overtime, people will start to hopefully understand and value real and good content. Essentially:
The top of the river is like TikTok/Eating a Donut: you get a great dopamine rush, but it's not of great substance/nutritional value

Bottom of the river is like a Book or Podcast/Eating meat on a Keto diet: you get a lot more substance/tapping into glycogen store People who have time and value substance will probably divulge themselves in wholesome and insightful content, while people who don't have time and/or money will find this quick form of content/escape nice... which isn't good for your health (content-wise).

So really, media and food have a some quite similar qualities.

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