Sim O.N.E.

If Algorithmic Media Improves Content, Why Does Everything Feel Worse?

If algorithmic media is supposed to give you better content, why does everything seem to be getting worse?

Creators on platforms like YouTube and TikTok seek “engagement” (provoking you to act RIGHT NOW) which exploits into your impulsiveness.

Every little piece is engineered to bully you into watching it, which is some people's life obsession—like Mr. Beast's. “Don't think, just TAP!”

But valuable things are often not impulsive: they're deliberate, they make you think a little.

Algorithmic feeds are like a relationship where the other person needs constant validation: “Watch me! Love me! Give me attention!”

Consider any project you work on, as simple as cooking a meal: Does a mayo-slathered toast you eat over the sink like a rat taste great? Or does a lasagna you put two hours of effort into feel more rewarding?

I get it, we're tired. We work all day, and the last thing we want to do is think.

But imagine eating gas station hot dogs every day: that's your brain on algorithms.

I've been there, stuffing YouTube junk food into my brain and actual junk food into my mouth at 1 AM, watching some idiot react to another idiot's reaction to more idiots.

And that's fine, sometimes.

But you have this supercomputer in your skull, this marvel of emotions and ideas. And you feed it like shoveling Twinkies into a Ferrari.

George Carlin said, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” Replace “person” with “TikTok or YouTube user” and you see why we are stuck in this perpetual loop of machine idiocy.

So why not curate your media like you do with your diet?

It's not that different: you shovel food into your mouth, you shovel ideas into your brain.

Replace mindless tapping with intentional browsing. Get some vegetables into your YouTube feed. Marie Kondo your timeline.

Go on an algorithmic diet.

Yeah, an algorithmic diet. Like a juice cleanse, but less annoying and actually useful.

Your brain fats will thank you.