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In attempting to stage person-to-person relationships and other everyday activities, today’s “psychological corporations” must provide a user experience that is better than or at least sufficiently different from the alternative, whether it’s another social media platform or face-to-face interaction. And they seem to be succeeding. We voluntarily export more of our psychological experience to their platforms — not only our attention, but our social lives, our creative endeavors, our emotional ups and downs.
As Ryan Broderick put it in today's Garbage Day, "There are a lot of internet users who, after a decade of exposure to viral media, have had their minds so thoroughly warped by trending content that they believe that reacting to popular internet culture is not just a replacement for a personality, but some kind of moral duty."
Spend any time at all in these communities on Tumblr or Tik Tok and you will find many people, most of them young, who are using mental illness as a means to self-define, to differentiate themselves from the hordes of other people they see online who are just like them.