It’s interesting that these billionaire engineers that developed the “Dopamine squirt” social media technologies are now wringing their hands over what they, and others, created.
It’s awesome that Sean Parker is funneling millions into cancer immunotherapy research. Maybe he is mindful of what good he can create out of the kammic missteps during his tenure at Facebook.
As Buddhists, we have an advantage in that we are trained to be mindful, to a greater or lesser degree. We can use these technologies mindfully, aware that with every use of Facebook, we potentially damage our brains a bit. We can turn off our laptops and phones, and take a walk in the forest, bush, lakeside, or parkland, and recite the Cankama Sutta, and be OK in the world. Others, unfortunately, do not have these Dhamma resources. We have our Walden Pond that others do not.
With Facebook, we might also see news from our siblings we wouldn’t have seen, or in my case, connected with Shan refugees that I would not have had a chance to meet, but at the end of the day, Facebook is crazymaking. I suppose I analogize it to driving a car. It is a loathsome, costly necessity, and most of the time I spend in a car is fighting traffic and the occasional negligent driver. But, it takes me places I (and monks when I’m in Thailand ) need to go.
I’d like to see some of these social media billionaires plow some of their money into a campaign,PSAs, or other vehicles to really educate people about the brain loop dangers of social media. The dopamine squirt cultivates brain tanha, which cultivates suffering, With kids, this addiction is dangerous. I’d like to see Disney start a campaign to get kids to turn off their smartphones and tablets for most of the day, and see their parents install the modem evening disablers in their homes, as one engineer did. Disney won’t do this, of course (they’re busy buying Fox from Murdoch, and defending executives from child sex abuse allegations) but, a person can dream.
Heely could not be reached for comment. His Twitter bio reads, “Disney Concerts and living to glorify God in all things.” On Wednesday, prosecutors charged him with three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child. Heely pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at the San Fernando courthouse on Thursday.
What a world.