R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe Thinks Social Media Platforms Are Like Cancer

R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe shared his thoughts and feelings about social media platforms and their founders by calling them ‘robber barons’ in his recent interview with MSNBC. He highlighted that these platforms are very dangerous and are spreading like cancer.

As you might know, social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, have enabled people from different cultures, countries, religions, and social classes to connect with each other. The users tend to share their special moments and views on certain topics. Initially, the developers were considered geniuses who helped people connect.

However, in time, millions and millions of people joined these platforms, and it has become a marketing place where people can be convinced or manipulated. Furthermore, many worry about how these websites use their private information. Even though a lot of people have pointed to this dangerous aspect of social media, many have continued to use them because they have become addicted, but some have decided not to use these platforms.

As one of them, Michael Stipe isn’t an active user on social media and explained the reason behind his decision, saying that they are being ruled by ‘robber barons’ who are after people’s money, and it’s an invasion of privacy. Stipe thinks that social media is like incurable cancer, especially after reading Jaren Lanier’s book ‘Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.’

Stipe said in his interview that:

“The people that set these platforms up started out kind of heroic and as people that were visionary. They had an eye to the future of how through this new technology, we’re able to communicate and know everything. They turned out to be the robber barons of the digital age. A lot of them are not good people, and we’re just talking about the figureheads but the pitch rocks from the head.

So I look at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram bought by Facebook. I look at Google, which in fact, we’re speaking on right now. I’m concerned about a lot of the kind of behind the scenes aspects of what they’re presenting through these platforms that are free to us, but we are by hitting allow, we are allowing them into our lives in a way that I don’t think most people would be terribly comfortable with, so I figure as an activist.

I’m not interested in participating. It leaves me a little bit in the dust of where we are right now. I’m actually writing about that in the work that I’m doing now. Jaren Lanier wrote the book ‘Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.’ I read that, and I acknowledge and recognize that I felt exactly the same way as he did about this. It’s cancer.”

You can watch the interview below.