What is the effect of social media addiction on powerful figures, including US President Donald Trump and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk?

Author and Silicon Valley pioneer Jaron Lanier argues that they are victims of their Twitter accounts.

He says that like other addictions, a preoccupation with social media adds "this weird insecurity where you're always worried about whether people like you and you're so worried that you announce it".

That kind of behaviour, he says, is "totally unlike" previous displays of power.

When asked if he thought the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election would have been any different if Trump didn't have his Twitter platform, Lanier says, "I think Trump would be president without Twitter, but I don't think Trump would be president without Facebook."

In this UpFront web extra, we discuss social media addiction and the role of Facebook and Twitter in the 2016 US election with tech pioneer Jaron Lanier.

For more, watch the full UpFront interview with Jaron Lanier.

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.

Source: Al Jazeera News