Facebook ‘exploits’ our addiction
THE founding president of Facebook has spoken candidly about how the social media giant is designed to be as addictive as possible, saying: “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains”.
Sean Parker said Facebook exploits human “vulnerability” by making users crave validation.
At a debate in Philadelphia, the 38- year- old internet entrepreneur talked openly about the dangers of social media and the cynical motives of its creators, despite remaining one of Facebook’s major shareholders.
He said: “The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them to really understand what it was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’”
Describing what he called a “social validation feedback loop”, Parker explained how social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram snare users into endlessly checking if others have responded to a comment or photo they have posted online.
He said social media “likes” or positive comments were “little dopamine hits”.
Dopamine is the chemical compound released by the brain that has been linked to addictive behaviour. Parker, who no longer works for Facebook, added: “It’s a social-validation feedback loop… exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”
Recent estimates suggest we will spend several years of our lives looking at our phone screens. – Daily Mail