Do you ever feel like you struggle to stay away from apps like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
I’m guessing you do, and what’s even scarier is that Silicon Valley giants like those mentioned above are using very specific techniques to ensure we feel this way.
Referring to the feeling as ‘brain hacking’, ex-Google employee Tristan Harris recently spilled the beans.
‘They are shaping the thoughts and feeling and actions of people’ Harris recently said in a CBS interview.
‘There’s a whole playbook of techniques that get used to get you using the product for as long as possible.’
These tactics aren’t only used by social networking apps – in fact, Harris says they’re techniques developed by casinos.
It all comes down to how our brain is stimulated when using apps like Facebook. Apps like the Palo Alto giant are designed to trigger the same responses in the brain that occur when we use a slot machine.
He said: ‘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.’
Harris also believes that this is why the apps allow you to unlock rewards, or score points.
With Twitter, you can increase your followers, and Snapchat keeps your ‘score’ which is based on app usage.
Not only is it concerning that apps like Facebook are programmed to ‘hack our brains’, Harris also believes that it’s ‘weakening our relationships to each other’ and ‘destroying our kids ability to focus’.
Let’s face it – it’s way easier to open up Facebook and like somebody’s post than to give them a call, or even send a text.
Our time is running out, we need to fight back before we all become programmed robots!