We are all aware of the very real issue of Facebook addiction. Take the test now – put down your phone, then see how long it takes for you to pick it back up and have a scroll. Bet you don’t last long.
Featured Image VIA
If you’ve been wondering why you can’t go five minutes without checking your phone, a former Google product manager has decided to explain to us how tech giants ‘programme’ their users to keep looking at their apps.
Tristan Harris says that the notification streams used by Facebook have been designed to excite our brains in the same way gambling machines do. He told CBS News:
Every time I check my phone, I’m playing the slot machine to see, ‘What did I get?’
This is one way to hijack people’s minds and create a habit, to form a habit.
What you do is you make it so when someone pulls a lever, sometimes they get a reward, an exciting reward.
And it turns out that this design technique can be embedded inside of all these products. They are shaping the thoughts and feelings and actions of people.
They are programming people. There’s a whole playbook of techniques that get used to get you using the product for as long as possible.
Well that’s kind of scary, but I guess it’s not something well all didn’t know at the back of our minds.
The main worry is the next generation, who have grown up with these brainwashing techniques. We’re already seeing the narcissistic effects of what social media addiction is doing to them – how much further can they go?