• Patrick McAndrew

The Vulnerabilities of Our Mind

Is social media and technology manipulating us?

I recently stumbled upon a video on YouTube posted by Big Think. The video is called “How Your Brain is Getting Hacked: Facebook, Tinder, Slot Machines” with Tristan Harris. You can watch the video here:

In it, Harris talks about how social media actually manipulates us into staying on their sites for as long as possible. Harris quotes, “To be human means you are persuadable.” He also mentions how it’s human nature to care about what other people think. Social media, whether it be Facebook or Instagram, taps into that human nature and uses it to bring up related posts in the user’s newsfeed. These companies are adhering to the “vulnerabilities of our mind.”

This is why excessive technology use can be detrimental. Unlike other technologies of the past, smartphones and the like are making a consistent effort to make sure that we stay on our devices for as long as possible. These companies persuade us to stay on them. We feel that we need to check our e-mail or that we need to check Facebook in order to feel content. This is why so many people start to feel anxious if they do not have their phone or if they lose it, even just for a minute.

I’m amazed at this reliance to our devices. It does make me wonder what would happen if all smartphones were wiped away. They inevitably will be in time, though will likely be replaced with something even more controlling. I think the most dangerous thing is not so much the influx of technology being produced. That is, after all, how society and the world will progress. What is dangerous is that we have a world of billions of people who are being manipulated and do not even notice.

What do you think? Are your vulnerabilities being tapped into? Are you aware of the technological pull? Comment away my friends!


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