The arguments for deleting social media accounts, according to author and artist Jaron Lanier

Media technology hasn’t always been a net positive for human societies, and the same is true with the way social media companies operate today, says an author of a book about why social media is so toxic.

social media accounts Jason Lanier speaks in front of two mics and is wearing a blue shirt

Americans are more critical of social media platforms than they were just a few years ago. The majority of the public believes that they are responsible for negative things that are happening.

A leaked slide from Meta noted that “Young people are acutely aware that Instagram can be bad for their mental health yet are compelled to spend time on the app for fear of missing out on cultural and social trends.”

More research and books are being released showing the signs of the negative effects of social media platforms and those frequently using them.

“The problem isn’t the technology — it’s the way the technology is being used to make money.” — Jaron Lanier, author, composer and artist

Listen: Why one author believes social media is bad for us.



Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, artist and author who writes on numerous topics, including the 2018 book “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.” He says social media platforms are using “operant conditioning” on their users, modifying people without them realizing it so they stay on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

“The problem isn’t the technology — it’s the way the technology is being used to make money,” says Lanier.


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Detroit Today

    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.