PeoplePublisher's note

Issue #144

“Users average 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram” was one of the headlines I’ve read earlier today. Just in case you’re not aware – Facebook owns Instagram. Facebook’s “family of apps” is proving to be a wild success. “While some might have expected it to roll Instagram into Facebook and leave chat in its main app, keeping Instagram independent and splitting off Messenger into a companion app has helped it solidify itself as more than just a ubiquitous utility, but as a downright addiction. As an advertising-driven business, that huge volume on time spent on its apps translates into enormous numbers of ad views. But that business model also incentivizes Facebook to push people to spend as much time as possible with it. The question is, when will Facebook start seriously considering the impact of the social networking juggernaut it’s created. While some amount of feed reading, photo sharing and messaging brings people together, usage can also become an endless quest for little hits of dopamine – excitement from consuming new information even if we’re never satisfied. It’s easy to resort to digital, asynchronous connection rather than having to expend the mental energy to leave the house or put down your phone and interact with people in person. And as Facebook’s Oculus division rolls out its virtual reality headsets, there’s the issue of ditching the meatspace for the digital realm. Facebook has an entire research division that studies how memes travel through the network or how usage can impact people’s emotions. But with it now earning about $6 billion a year off our eyeballs, it’s time for it to consider what could be done to minimize the harm of losing one’s self in “connection.” (Josh Constine, Techcrunch). I couldn’t agree more with Josh.

Our world has changed dramatically in the past few years and it keeps changing with incredible speed. The mere fact that you’re holding and reading this magazine right now is statistically unusual. Unless of course you’re not holding the physical copy of the magazine but reading this off of our site russianchicagomag.com… or you’re reading it from a shared link on Facebook… You see where I’m going with this?! Dopamine wins all around.

Our cover story in this issue features Andrei Savtchenko, our good old friend, a businessman, entrepreneur, realtor, and even a model. That’s right, a model. We first met years ago and didn’t even realize we both speak Russian at first, only after we heard each other’s names we smiled and switched from “hello” to “privet”. I hope you’ll enjoy reading his story and get to know Andrei better, as he’s one cool dude. Cheers and talk soon!