Facebook comes of age with a mental and social health warning


Mike Allen Nov 9 (AXIOS)

Sean Parker unloads on Facebook "exploiting" human psychology

... the clarion call to seek a 'life' not a 'like'? Facebook should come with a mental and social health warning?

  • "The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, ... was all about: 'How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'"
  • "It's a social-validation feedback loop ... exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology."
  • "The inventors, creators — it's me, it's Mark [Zuckerberg], it's Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it's all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway."
  • "When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, 'I'm not on social media.' And I would say, 'OK. You know, you will be.' And then they would say, 'No, no, no. I value my real-life interactions. I value the moment. I value presence. I value intimacy.' And I would say, ... 'We'll get you eventually.'"

And, (Fast Company) Dec 11 Former Facebook exec: Social media is ripping apart society

"Facebook’s former vice president for user growth Chamath Palihapitiya recently gave a talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business."

“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created [including the hearts, likes, and thumbs up of various social media channels] are destroying how society works.” He added, “[There’s] no civil discourse, no cooperation; [only] misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem–this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”

"Unsurprisingly, when it comes to social media, his children “aren’t allowed to use that shit.”

A 'heads-up' from the horse's mouth were there ever one.

Your health-span


The findings of a study (Garcia-Valles et al. 2013) highlighted the idea that regular activity does not prolong life-span.

On the other hand, it extends the health-span.

They also reported that brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) remain elevated in exercisers, as does mitochondrial activity (energy generators) in the muscles of exercisers. BDNF is important for neuroplasticity, that is, the biological ability to learn, feel and intellectually orchestrate new things, to lay down or modify neural pathways in the brain, in essence to possess a potential toward readily adaptable behaviour.

The authors concluded from their study that:

"life-long spontaneous exercise did not prolong longevity but prevented several signs of frailty (that is, decrease in strength, endurance and motor coordination). This improvement was accompanied by a significant increase in the mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle and in the cortical BDNF levels."

Movement builds quality of life through 'health span'.

Identify an activity that you simply enjoy - that way it is far more likely to be sustainable. You'll be less likely to get bored. Once it's established as a habit and you've accrued time doing it, the 'health span' effects will become obvious, and others will notice too.

So, now let's get more specific:

Daily exercise - common sense meets science

Public health recommendations for physical activity from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association include the following:

  • Adults 18 to 65 years of age should engage in either moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 days a week or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of either 20 minutes on 3 days a week or a combination of both.
  • This amount of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can be accumulated by doing bouts of exercise lasting at least 10 minutes each to reach the recommended total of 30 minutes a day.
  • Adults need to engage in any activity that maintains or increases muscle strength and endurance on at least 2 days a week.
  • Anyone who wants to improve their level of fitness, reduce the risk for chronic disease and disabilities, or prevent unhealthy weight gain may exceed the minimum recommended physical activity levels.

Level of physical activity should be directed toward the exercise domains cardiorespiratory, muscle strength, flexibility and neuromotor (co-ordination and balance). Consider joint-friendly activities like brisk walking, swimming, cycling, appropriate exercise classes, appropriate gym equipment (cross-trainer / elliptical trainer).

Rausch Osthoff A, Niedermann K, Braun J, et al. 2018 EULAR recommendations for physical activity in people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Published Online First: 11 July 2018. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-213585