According to Dr. Cal Newport associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, social media designers look to addictive activities such as gambling and the tactics used in the gamble haven Las Vegas when creating and updating social media sites and applications.
Per the Georgetown professor, spending large portions of your day in a state of fragmented attention, taking quick glances at social media such as Instagram and Facebook, can permanently reduce your capacity for concentration.
There have also been numerous studies that prove social media can cause psychological harm.
• The more use of social media the more likely you’ll feel lonely
• Exposure to your friends’ constantly curated positive portrayals of their life can leave you to feel inadequate and can increase rates of depression
• The fundamental mismatch between the way our brains are wired and this behavior of exposing yourself to stimuli with intermittent rewards during all waking hours has cognitive consequences such as a pervasive constant hum of anxiety
Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice-president for user growth at Facebook, says: “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.”
“I can’t control them,” Palihapitiya said of his former employer. “I can control my decision, which is that I don’t use that shit. I can control my kids’ decisions, which is that they’re not allowed to use that shit.”
Furthermore, Facebook’s founding president, Sean Parker, criticized the way that the company “exploit[s] a vulnerability in human psychology” by creating a “social-validation feedback loop” during an interview at an Axios event.
If you have not done so already, Palihapitiya urges people to “soul-search” about their own relationship to social media. “Your behaviors, you don’t realize it, but you are being programmed,” he said. “It was unintentional, but now you gotta decide how much you’re going to give up, how much of your intellectual independence.”