Social media was made to hack your mind. Trying to hack it for less use is like trying to build a building from a deck of cards: it’s bound to break.
“The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in t-shirts selling addictive products to children. Because, let’s face it, checking your ‘likes’ is the new smoking.”
— Bill Maher on May 17th, 2017
Social media was built like slot-machines. Technology was supposed to be neutral, but tech companies driven by ad profits are making algorithms that are all but neutral. They’re engineering people. Nowadays, social media uses AI and algorithms to their own benefits, or that of their clients, the ad companies.
The second force that drives behavioral addiction in social media is our human need for approval. The like button.
Sharing the news that your baby was born doesn’t require feedback (it’s implied people like it). Now, there’s an expectation that, for everything you post, certain people (or a certain amount of people) will hit like, comment, or even share on their end. If that expectation is not fulfilled, we become sad, or angry. It affects our emotions, and the way we think about these other people. Or, we feel left out, lonely, unnaccepted by the tribe.
“You see how few things you have to do to live a relevant and satisfying life?”
— Marcus Aurelius