Social networking sites can be addictive. But that’s the intention behind developing them, to engage the users and consume their time. Even the Ex-President of Facebook, Sean Parker, says that the site was built to exploit a “ vulnerability in human psychology” from the beginning of its creation.
Sean Parker, well-known for creating Napster, a file-sharing computer service became the first president of Facebook. He then resigned from the position due to some circumstances. At an Axios event in Philadelphia, now the founder of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Parker shared few insights on how Facebook affects the social relationships of the netizens.
“When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, ‘I’m not on social media.’ And I would say, ‘OK. You know, you will be’.”
“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Parker says that the number of likes and comments on a post gives a little dopamine hit to the users making them want to create more content which indirectly engages the users on the site.
“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.
“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”
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