As software engineers, one great strength you have is the internet, but it also could be a downfall. Social media is virtually everywhere, it’s on our phones, our computers, and it’s easy to access. With the rise of a lot of new platforms, they stand to keep you as much as they can. Why is social media so bad? — It is designed to be addictive.
The Platform Is Designed To Keep You Scrolling
Social media can be hard to resist sometimes. You feel as if you are on the edge of scrolling over something funny. This is the sort of behavior that it’s seeking from you: it doesn’t want anything else to compete for your attention.
Remember that social media is free: and all companies pay employees, so how does the company make it’s income? Advertising. You are the product. Advertisers pay these companies to target individuals to show ads to that will be most likely to buy their product. And by consuming content and producing content, you constantly share and dish away more and more information to the company to show you relevant advertisements that you are more likely to engage with. These platforms keep you as long and as much as they can so that they keep selling product: your attention.
How They Keep You
The anticipation that you are on the edge of a reward is dopamine. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that gives you motivation to keep doing something. When you keep getting rewarded from social media, for example, then you will be more likely to do it again and again. This is exactly what they try to develop in you, the motivation to keep using their platform and to be as easy as possible to get that dopamine to hit. It’s an addiction in it’s finest form: to social media.
How to Avoid The Dangers
The answer is: set boundaries, or if you are addicted, then just cold turkey quit. Social media can be useful, but you should also use it in moderation. If you set certain times or objectives in social media, then you can more efficiently use it without developing an addiction to the platform. The platforms are deliberately designed to be addictive, and are constantly evolving.
Social Media is designed to keep you, so move forward with caution when trying out new platforms. Happy hacking.