Social media. You’ve become fully engrossed in it. You check it more times a day than you can count.
You post something. And with each like, each love, each double tap, you get a charge of emotional gratitude, of hormonal bliss.
I’m no better than anyone else. Yes, on my phone, I use Facebook only via its mobile browser version. It helps. But I’m still a user.
Instagram. I happen to browse that via browser as well, because via browser, you can avoid looking at advertisements.
I don’t have Twitter hooked up to my phone anymore. But I still use it on occasion.
This article and the above video will explain a few things about your (and my addiction).
Check this article for more info with Tristan Harris where he explains stuff like this:
Outrage just spreads faster than something that’s not outrage.
When you open up the blue Facebook icon, you’re activating the AI, which tries to figure out the perfect thing it can show you that’ll engage you. It doesn’t have any intelligence, except figuring out what gets the most clicks. The outrage stuff gets the most clicks, so it puts that at the top.
Then it learns there’s this magic keyword where if any article had this keyword and you put it at the top of the feed, it would always get a click or a share. And that keyword was “Trump.” If you’re just a naive computer, you put this keyword in front of people and they always click it. It’s reinforcing that this is the thing that should go to the top of the feed.
I look at technology through the lens of persuasion and how it persuades the human animal. What does seeing a repeated set of things that make you outraged do to you? You can feel it when it happens. I think of it as civilization mind control. It’s not that there’s someone who’s deliberately trying to make us all outraged. It’s that 2 billion people, from the moment they wake up in the morning, are basically jacked into an environment, where if you’re a teenager, the first thing you see are photo after photo of your friends having fun without you. That does something to all those human animals. If the first thing you do when your eyes open is see Twitter and there’s a bunch of stuff to be outraged about, that’s going to do something to you on an animal level.
I think what we have to reckon with is how is this affecting us on a deeper level.