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Breakpoint 2023: Turning the Tides: Social Media for Enhanced Human Capabilities

A look into a new social media platform, OR, focused on enhancing human capabilities using sound and blockchain technology.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!


At Breakpoint 2023, a new vision for the future of social media was presented that aims to address the common pitfalls of existing platforms. Nusha, a developer with a background in neuroscience and the founder of AR, discussed the negative effects of current social media on mental health and introduced a new social media platform called OR. OR is a decentralized platform that leverages sound as a primary medium and incorporates blockchain technology to provide digital ownership. The platform aims to enhance user's attention spans, emotional connectedness, and imagination without the overstimulation caused by visual media. Nusha also showcased a demo of OR, highlighting its potential to transform the social media landscape.

Key Points:

The Current State of Social Media and Its Impact

Nusha outlined the issues surrounding current social media platforms, including a positive correlation between anxiety, depression, and social media usage. Existing platforms are also thought to be detrimental to children's creativity and are contributing to shortened attention spans across all user demographics. Despite these shortcomings, social media remains an embedded part of daily life, which is why developers like Nusha are looking to reinvent it in a way that benefits users.

OR: A New Social Media Model

The new platform, named OR, represents the next generation of social media that is designed to work for the benefit of users. OR is decentralized and focuses on audio and audiovisual experiences rather than traditional visual content. With sound playing a central role, the platform can potentially improve users' focus and attention, trigger emotional responses in a safe and healthy manner, and stir the imagination akin to reading a book. Nusha believes that tapping into the power of sound can combat the visual overstimulation that is often found with existing social media.

Blockchain Technology and Digital Ownership

OR integrates blockchain technology, utilizing compressed NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) to provide digital ownership of audio content. Users are able to create, mint, and own their audio experiences, marked with metadata such as location, timestamp, an abstract visual art piece, and description. This open-source approach ensures transparency and accessibility, allowing users to control their digital assets fully.

Facts + Figures

  • Studies have found a positive correlation between anxiety, depression, and social media usage.
  • Children's creativity is impacted negatively by current social media platforms.
  • OR aims to enhance human capabilities by focusing on audio content to improve focus and stimulate the imagination.
  • The OR platform employs blockchain technology and NFTs for digital ownership, with an open-source framework.
  • OR was launched two days prior to the presentation at Breakpoint 2023.
  • The app features a unique map interface showing the locations of audio NFTs created by users.
  • The demo presented at the speech showcased how to record, mint, and own an audio experience on the OR platform.

Top quotes

  • "So I'm wondering how the world looked like if we could use social media to improve ourselves as humans."
  • "By leveraging blockchain technology there will also be digital ownership of our assets."
  • "To listen you actually need to activate your focus attention. None of us can passively listen."
  • "Sound has the ability to make us feel something without that we can resist."
  • "By using sound, we will also automatically combat the overstimulation caused by visual input."

Questions Answered

What negative effects does current social media have on mental health?

Studies indicate a strong positive correlation between social media usage and the increase of anxiety and depression. A growing body of research suggests that heavy social media use can affect mental health adversely, contributing to a range of issues from strained attention spans to hindered creativity in children.

How is OR different from existing social media platforms?

OR stands apart from traditional social media by being a decentralized platform that prioritizes audio and audiovisual content. It seeks to enhance human capabilities such as attention, emotional resonance, and imagination, which are often dulled by conventional social media. OR's use of blockchain technology further distinguishes it by granting users digital ownership through NFTs.

What are the potential benefits of a social media platform like OR?

OR's audio-focused approach can lead to improved attention spans as it requires active listening. Additionally, sound can evoke emotions and stimulate the imagination in ways that could foster healthier emotional expression and creativity. The platform can also potentially reduce visual overstimulation, which is common with other social media services.

How does OR use blockchain technology?

OR integrates blockchain technology to afford users digital ownership of their content. By using compressed NFTs, any audio content created on OR can be owned, traded, or sold by its creator, fostering an environment of transparency and user control.

Can anyone record and mint audio on OR?

Yes, any user can record and mint their audio experiences as NFTs on the OR platform. This process allows users to capture moments, add metadata like location and description, and retain ownership of their content within their digital wallets.