One strategy McNamee uses to persuade his readers is pathos. Pathos is a method of rhetorical writing that uses emotion to appeal to the audience. Good use of this strategy activates a reader’s emotions which causes them to be influenced towards the author’s point of view. McNamee does this brilliantly in his article titled, “I invested early in Google and Facebook. Now they terrify me.” An example comes when McName talks about how Google and Facebook control the minds of people. He states, “Like gambling, nicotine, alcohol or heroin, Facebook and Google — most importantly through its YouTube subsidiary — produce short-term happiness with serious negative consequences in the long term” (McNamee). By comparing social media to addictive and dangerous drugs, McNamee is appealing to the readers negative emotions. Since many people have strong unpleasant experiences with these drugs, McNamee uses this in his favor to explain that social media is a lot like these drugs and should be used with caution. The things McNamee uses to compare social media too are also highly addictive. He chooses these four items to warn the audience that they can become addicted to social media, which is another stab at the reader’s emotions. Pathos is an extremely effective strategy when trying to persuade an audience and McNamee provides an impressive example of it in his article.
Another rhetorical strategy that McNamee uses is exemplification. The use of examples can be very effective because they provide hard evidence that supports an author’s claim. In “I invested early in Google and Facebook. Now they terrify me” McNamee uses an example of when Facebook decided to target teens who were depressed because they were “more susceptible to advertising”(McNamee). This story is a compelling work of rhetoric by McNamee. Facebook trying to make money off of mental health problems is sure to capture the audience’s attention as well as make them think badly of the social media company. Another attack on Facebook comes later in the article. McNamee gives an example that states, “One firm was caught using Facebook tools to spy on law abiding citizens.” The readers now have received two examples of Facebook causing problems within our society. The first one was used to show how Facebook is doing harm as a company and the second displayed how the site can be used for harmful purposes. Examples like these give proof of McNamee’s claim which is what makes them so rhetorically effective.