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Watch This Before You Start Using Social Media

Cal Newport, Mark Zuckerberg, Tristan Harris, Steven Kotler, Chamath Palihapitiya, Steve Bartlet | 13:26


We're dealing with an addicted generation. This is a big time bomb ticking. This is no accident. Indeed it is by design. I mean, seriously, it was my mistake. And I think we can all feel it to try to make these products as addictive as spike in dopamine.

We now know that many of the major social media companies hire individuals called attention engineers, who borrow principles from Las Vegas casino gambling, among other places, to try to make these products as addictive as possible. That is the desired use case of these products is that you use it in an addictive fashion because that maximizes the profit that can be extracted from your attention and data. It literally is a point now, where I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. That is truly where we are.

The way that technologist Jaron Lanier puts it is that these companies offer you shiny treats in exchange for minutes of your attention and bytes of your personal data, which can then be packaged up and sold. What happened is that the attention economy in this race for attention got more and more competitive. And the more competitive, it got to get people's attention on say a news website, the more they need to add these design principles, these more manipulative design tactics, as ways of holding on to your attention,you don't realize it but you are being programmed.

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