(Natural News) If you’re someone who ‘can’t live without’ social media or know someone like that, there is science behind the addiction, and while sinister, most people who can’t stop checking Facebook or Google have no idea how they became so hooked.
It’s a mind technique the social media giants use to make us feel as though we can’t live without them, according to a former Google product manager.
As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, the tactics are underhanded and designed to get our brains hooked on checking our smartphones, says Tristan Harris, who noted that technology companies are using mind techniques similar to those used by casinos. These techniques are meant to addict people to their phones and the constant access to social media content.
Harris said the technique is employed by computer programmers and is called “brain hacking.” He noted further that the techniques are essentially damaging the minds of future generations. (RELATED: Former Facebook employees admit to the routine censorship of news stories; artificial injection of government propaganda into trending news list)
“This thing is a slot machine,” Harris told CBS News in an interview, adding that the tech world would prefer that everyone was kept in the dark about brain hacking.
“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 all of these products.”
The rewards include “likes” to the things you post, cute emojis included in text messages and a growing number of followers. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms all take advantage of “brain hacking.”
Harris said programmers have an entire “playbook of techniques” they utilize to get people using the product – the apps, in this case, as well as the social media sites – for as long and as often as possible. (RELATED: Facebook could face child pornography charges in Britain)
One of the more popular messaging services – if not the most popular right now – for tweeners and teenagers is Snapchat. The app comes with a feature, known as “streaks” that indicates the number of days the user has sent messages back and forth. After awhile, kids begin to think they don’t want to lose their streak, so if they are going to be away from Snapchat for a while – say, on a vacation with parents – they will often give their password to friends who will then log in and help them continue their streak with the other person.
“And so you could ask when these features are being designed, are they designed to most help people live their lives? Or are they being designed because they’re best at hooking people to use the product?” Harris said.
In the end, he said, the titans of Silicon Valley may or may not know they are shaping the thoughts, feelings and actions of hundreds of millions of people – though it is a safer bet to assume they know exactly what they’re doing.
“There’s always this narrative that technology’s neutral. And it’s up to us to choose how we use it. This is just not true,” Harris said.
Technology isn’t at all “neutral,” he insisted. Apps are designed in particular ways to make users engage in them for as long as possible, because that’s how tech-media companies like Facebook and Google make their billions.
Tech insiders don’t normally reveal such secrets, but Harris felt a need to speak out. Just a few years ago he was working in Silicon Valley living the dream. He dropped out of a master’s degree program at Stanford University to launch a tech start-up, which was bought out by Google four years later, with the company offering him a position as a product manager. He started feeling overwhelmed while there. (RELATED: Facebook To Become Left-Wing Propaganda Echo Chamber With Orwellian Plan To Label Independent Journalism “Fake”)
In the end, he wrote a 144-page “manifesto” which concluded that a handful of techies at just a few companies are influencing the thoughts and actions of a billion people, thus “weakening’ personal relationships and “destroying our kids’ ability to focus.” Find more news about the negative influence of technology on human lives at GLITCH.news.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.