Very interesting, and the info causesannoyment too, that we are mice seeking rewards in a bunch of digital “Skinner Boxes” — ones invented and run by obscenely young billionaires.
But here’s all you need to know, regardless of the emotion you are trying to feed/stop. All that the internet functions as, at least apparently for most people — and not withstanding its function as a realtime news source in emergencies via millions of “on location” cellphones — is as a proxy for the Other. The Other is the missing ingredient in our single most powerful mental phenomenon, one that almost cannot be ridded — the inner monolog. Some call it ‘dialog’, and indeed it is, once an inner Other to talk to is established. If the inner Other seems for whatever reason to have gone AWOL, then anxiety increases, and other habits, such as talking aloud ‘to oneself’, smoking, drugs, masturbation, even violence/suicide can occur (over time). But from the outside looking in, it’s a monolog. Most sane folk know there’s no one there — but, wait! On the internet there IS someone there, the precious Other. Some are actual personal friends, as on Facebook, and other Others will forever be complete utter strangers. The collective Other, of course, is “community”, which , I think, is the main ingredient missing in most lives.
Visible manifestations of the inner Other, which look a lot like OCD — such as the four or six teens walking along, together, each poking away on their “smart”fones — can be obliterated, if one cares to, by consciousness raising actions, as mentioned in the article, or, not mentioned, psychogenic drugs, such as LSD, peyote, etc. Which tend to break up malformed, tho perhaps safe, identifications and, to be quick about it: bring you back to reality.
There’s more to be sayed (some say ‘said’) but my NECK HURTS.