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Episode #033

Algorithms, Social Media & Human Mass Manipulation

β€œThe most important thing about a technology is how it changes people.” - Jaron Lanier

If you spend a substantial amount of time on social media, for any reason, you are being manipulated.

Documentaries such as The Social Dilemma by Tristan Harris and books such as Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now  by Jaron Lanier convey the pervasive threat of social media and how these platforms hijack the human brain in order to make money for advertisers.

At ikario, we're all about helping you free yourself & live a bad-ass life on your own terms. Trust us, we aren't being melodramatic when we say that social media and the algorithm are most directly opposing force to your inner and outer freedom.

In this podcast, Shane & myself discuss why this is the case. We talk about the algorithm, social media and the mass manipulation of human behavior we currently see today.

And as always, we help you break free.

In this episode...

Some of the points covered in today's conversation:

  • Why the algorithms and social media are one of the most directly opposing forces to our personal freedom to live a good life.
  • "We are showing people what they want to see" - why this story that we're most commonly told about social media is simply not true. 
  • It is not just human behaviour that changes the algorithms. It's algorithms that change human behaviour and here are a few examples.
  • The phenomenon of anti-woke/feminist Call Of Duty channels - and how this bizarre pattern emerged.
  • Why we are all vulnerable to the behaviour change that algorithms and social media encourage.
  • The bizarre unstoppable rise of "Instagram face." - and why this happens.
  • Why it's essential to simply not play the game if you're serious about living the best life possible.
  • How the algorithms are elevating people to the level of celebrity without merit.
  • What are Shane & Ollie's spirit vegetable?

Links & Resources

Over to You

We hope you found this episode useful! What brought you the most value? Do you have questions or feedback? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

You can follow the ikario Podcast on YouTube and also subscribe to our clips channel.


Oliver Cowlishaw

About the author

Ollie is an avid pizza connoisseur, accomplished drinker of coffee and lover of soul music. Heavily influenced by Zen & eastern mysticism, his curiosity regarding the human experience is insatiable. Despite having a strong vocabulary, he swears a lot and uses slang phrases ("ollie-isms") that almost nobody understands, not even himself.

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  • Jenny Yoon says:

    Future Episode topic:

    I wonder if ever-increasing mental health labels are something you would like to dig in.

    As a professional in the wellness industry, I’ve noticed that the number of new mental health labels is mindblowing. To me, it feels like there is a tentative spectrum of what a normal stereotype person should be, and any personality or character outside of that can be labeled. Any unhappy person acting out of frustration and desperation for a period of time can easily get labelled with 4-5 different ones.

    The crazy thing about this is a lot of mental health can be improved by a healthy diet and lifestyle. The gut and brain connection is a well-known factor. Much mental health suffers have gut dysfunction and when their gut function improves, they feel and behave better too.

    Sure, there are times people genuinely need help. For instance, trauma patience or brain injuries, etc.

    But to me, creating many new mental health labels out of the woodwork feels like big pharma’s sales’ gimmick to sell more drugs. I don’t think labelling people especially children does more harm than good. I could be wrong.

    I would be curious to hear Ikario Team’s intake on this topic if only it’s appropriate for your show. Otherwise, just ignore it, I won’t be offended.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Ooh, that’s an interesting observation!
      I think you make a really good point, here. I have often wondered about this, because I’m pretty sure I would have been assigned the lables “ADHD” and maybe also “aspergers” as a child, had I been born a few years later when it started to become fashionable to diagnose kids with all kinds of things. Would it have made my life better to have these mental health labels applied to me? I doubt it, but it’s difficult to know.

  • I just wanted to send you (to the whole team) my gratitude, for your work and for this valuable podcast that I hear every week. Just that. πŸ’—

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much! That’s nice to hear. πŸ™‚

  • Thank you for an incredible episode once againπŸ™πŸ½πŸ”₯. There’s something that I wished you guys cover in this podcast and it is that: What happens if you need social media for business? Do you guys use social media for your businesses? I’m wondering because I plan on starting my own Shopify store and I’ll be doing influencer marketing instead of ads. I love to get your opinion on this!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Pedro! And thank you for the suggestion. Maybe we can cover this in more detail in a future episode.

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