According to the tech giant’s first president, Sean Parker, Facebook users do not fully understand the unintended consequences of social media, like addiction generated through dopamine-fueled feedback loops.
Every time somebody likes a post or shares a flattering comment, they create a feel-good sensation triggered by a newly-released dose of dopamine. However, this is the most common way of developing addiction at a physiological level.
God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,
Parker said about Facebook.
The former exec believes that Facebook has altered the society beyond a recognizable level. His thoughts echo those of another FB exec, Chamath Palihapitiya, who, in a room packed with Stanford students, said that social media and its impact on people’s brains are “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
Parker is more concerned about the validation feedback loop that reinforces old beliefs and misconceptions while keeping people hooked with tiny “dopamine hit(s)” every now and then.
Facebook Has Morphed Into a Global Problem
Palihapitiya made the comments days before Parker did. According to the former, Facebook and other social media platforms have destroyed cooperation and civil discourse. And the issue is not only the United States’ problem. It is a global one.
When one of the organizers asked Palihapitiya whether he has any sense of guilt for having created Facebook, he replied that he feels “tremendous guilt”. He thinks that anyone who helped create the social media behemoth “knew in the back of [their] minds” that the thing could get out of control.
Palihapitiya went on to warn that Facebook is altering the very ways people interact by and with one another. He added that the only solution to the problem would be to stop using social media altogether like he did several years ago.
When asked why he stopped using Facebook, Palihapitiya replied that he doesn’t want to be “programmed”.
Your behaviors—you don’t realize it but you are being programmed,
the former Facebook boss warned.
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