This is such a great explanation of a perfect storm of variables that led to where we are now.
Posts tagged with #social media
Is it any coincidence that the race to the bottom in media—toward clickbait headlines, toward the vulgar and prurient and dumb, toward provocative but often exaggerated takes—has accelerated in lock-step with the development of new technologies for measuring engagement?
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Q. What makes you think that people have become addicted to digital devices and social media?
A. In the past, we thought of addiction as mostly related to chemical substances: heroin, cocaine, nicotine. Today, we have this phenomenon of behavioral addictions where, one tech industry leader told me, people are spending nearly three hours a day tethered to their cellphones. Where teenage boys sometimes spend weeks alone in their rooms playing video games. Where Snapchat will boast that its youthful users open their app more than 18 times a day.
How do you define “addiction?”
The definition I go with is that it has to be something you enjoy doing in the short term, that undermines your well-being in the long term — but that you do compulsively anyway.
But those two months I did nothing but play Crossy Road—that was just time well spent.
We’re biologically prone to getting hooked on these sorts of experiences. If you put someone in front of a slot machine, their brain will look qualitatively the same as when they take heroin. If you’re someone who compulsively plays video games — not everyone, but people who are addicted to a particular game — the minute you load up your computer, your brain will look like that of a substance abuser.
Seems like we can’t go two minutes without our phones buzzing, trying to pull us away from whatever we were doing to instead look at a screen. This started out innocently: as a way to let you know that someone was personally communicating with you; a figurative tap on the shoulder through the magic of the internet.
But at some point this snowballed into us defaulting into allowing the entire world to tap us on the shoulder in the middle of family dinner.
Not only is that just annoying, but it’s partially responsible for actually changing our brains, which I will demonstrate to you using this simple test:Read the rest of this
A couple of weeks ago, I came very close to swearing Facebook off completely1 after some posts sent me off into a spiral of negativity which included text-message rants to friends like this:
What’s more important: the delivery of the message, or showing the world that you sent it? Obviously, the former. But then why is my Facebook feed filled with spouses and friends publicly tagging each other with messages that pre-Facebook would have been delivered in a far more personal way: direct and deliberate communication.
Is this new public way of communicating an improvement? Or are the posters just so desperate for approval that the chance of a squirt of endorphins delivered from a casual press of a Like button is worth diluting the potency of a nice gesture?
Have you ever seen a Facebook post and asked yourself “What was this person trying to communicate by sharing this?” Every post has a purpose, and when the post in question is basically a private message to one other person, what was that person trying to communicate by saying it in a public forum?Read the rest of this