The Social Media Bubble (1) — Revelation

More of us have realised, many of us have not.

(Legacy article, 2018–01–15)

Former Facebook executives feeling guiltyof their parts in the creation; Mark Zuckerberg got a list of things to fix while revamping the news feed recently… hmm, we have a theory.

People are insensitive to information/ content; emotions were replaced with Reactions; data showed we don’t really care about social scandals… and we want more, why?

“React, or emote?”

Do you still remember the experience of your first kiss, first bicycle ride, or your first time doing something? Feelings were strong, intense and vivid, but not so afterwards when it compares to your 23rd encounter/ experience. “Dopamine” — something that you hear more often now is acting as a confirmation towards the emotions you received from an event/ experience.

Simply put, e.g. “Eating ice-cream makes you happy” — first time was great, second time was good, but as you ate more and more ice-cream, your feelings for ice-cream started to diminish, it’s still “good”, but not as good as the previous times. As dopamine is acting as a confirmation, once we have confirmed “eating ice-cream makes you happy”, all the new confirmation started to be just formalities in your head. Without a proper, solid confirmation like the first time, we would eat more ice-cream (to generate more confirmation) just to recreate the sensation we once had. Hence, addiction.

“Dopamine Explained”

If addiction is bad, then an addictive cycle is worse. In social media you can hardly notice it as the content is renewed every second — but the effect is still wearing off. Just like Alcoholics would crave for more and stronger liquors, when more content can’t satisfy one’s appetite, new “breaking story”/ function/ feature is coming in as the stronger liquor to give you that hit. When people got tired of it (lower engagement), another will be introduced. A perfect, manipulative cycle.

Before you think Social Media is a bad, terrible monster, let’s just say we think otherwise. There is no good/ bad in an ecosystem, everything is in balance in a macro view. But be aware, although Social Media is a miniscule version of our society, it does not contain all the components. It is NOT an ecosystem but merely an acceleration programme on steroid.

Addiction is only the beginning of the bubble. More on:

The Social Media Bubble (2) — Redemption