Silicon Valley insiders informed the BBC that social media companies are purposely crafting their systems to cultivate habit-forming behavior. Is this the reason Facebook accumulated 2.19 billion active users a month while Twitter has 336 million monthly users?
According to Axa Raskin, the developer of the infinite-scroll function:
“It’s as if they’re taking behavioural cocaine and just sprinkling it all over your interface and that’s the thing that keeps you like coming back and back and back. Behind every screen on your phone, there are generally like literally a thousand engineers that have worked on this thing to try to make it maximally addicting.”
A previous Facebook worker made a relevant point. Sandy Parakilas said that social media is really much like a slot machine. He said that he attempted to quit utilizing Facebook when he left in 2012. But he said that stopping seemed like giving up cigarettes. Throughout his stay at Facebook, he claimed that others acknowledged this danger.
Does It have Something to do With the Likes?
The Like function is one of the most appealing elements of social media. This function could be in a form of a thumbs-up sign, hearts or retweets. Leah Pearlman who co-invented the Like button stated that she come to be addicted on Facebook since she started basing her feeling of self-respect on the variety of likes she received from her post.
This function is a proof that social validation is vital to some individuals. When users see that their followers or friends like their Facebook, for example, that makes them feel good.
Teens are at Risk
Studies suggest that there’s an association between excessive use of social media and anxiety, isolation and a number of psychological issues.
Teens in Britain use their smartphones for 18 hours a week. Most of the time, they are making use of social media. Ms. Pearlman thinks that young people who identify that social media is troublesome for them ought to consider staying away from those apps.
Last year, Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president, claimed openly that the social media laid out to take in as much user time as possible. He asserted that it was manipulating the human psychology’s susceptibility.
Facebook stated that it’s collaborating with third-party individuals that are checking out addictive behaviors. It’s trying to figure out whether it’s on its platform or the Internet. It’s also recognizing if there are aspects that it thinks are causing damage to its users. In that way, the company could invest in ensuring that these individuals are secure over time.
Facebook is working with functions to allow users to see how much time they are spending on the app for the past seven days and establish everyday time limits. And soon, the social media may tell you that you’re already spending a lot of time on the app.
Snap, on the other hand, denied that it is utilizing some tricks to make sure that its users will be addicted to its app. It also stated that it has no intention to increase empty engagement.