What does Anonymous, countless alt media platforms, and independent voices have in common with two former founders and executives of Facebook? Nothing? Well, think again.
Sean Parker and Charmath Palihapitya have gone public on multiple occasions, voicing their sentiment on the real dangers of social media platforms.
As Anonymous has warned for years, social media sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter, have perfected algorithms and procedures to alter your brain chemistry. For Parker and Palihapitya, the implications are very real—starving us for ‘likes’ accompanied by the next dopamine hit; ego tripping you to the point where the real world becomes boring.
The clip below demonstrates how social media is a created environment feeding our ego through attention grabbing and seeking. Everyone wants attention. Back in the day, it was the single kid in the school yard craving an audience of three. Today, the individual craves millions of followers they don’t know and will never meet … and some will do anything to be liked.
When Palihapitya explains how he distances himself from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, he isn’t mincing words.
“I just innately didn’t want to get programmed,” he says in an interview about refusing to engage in any social media. It created social tensions within his family that just weren’t worth it.
And of the designing and founding of Facebook into the giant it is today:
“I feel tremendous guilt…I think we all knew in the back of our minds…we kind of knew something bad could happen,” Palihapitya says.
What are the long term effects of the social media tools created today, according to Palihapitya?
They are beginning to erode the “social fabric of how society works.” Money can be used to amplify a version of the truth and sway the masses, irrespective of the facts and the outcome.
Although social media is a revolutionary platform for information sharing, the ‘fake news’ sensation that led to the censorship wars demonstrates the ease at which cash-laden sponsors can alter the news. The truth is manipulated for agendas controlled by oligarchs and governments when the news doesn’t fit their criteria.
Sharing classified documents has become a thing of the past. Creating awareness of the world was once dependent on those active in alternative media genres. Mainstream news rarely got things right, and tended towards mocking free thinkers who dared published stray thoughts.
The question Palihapitya poses is how do we live in a world where this is possible. Some are addicted and unable to just ‘switch off’ from the cyborg collective.
The now-ADD society has been created by initiating a reaction in the viewer; creating an impatience with the real world through small but constant dopamine hits received through computer games such as Call of Duty, Facebook likes or Twitter retweets.
“We know for a fact that what all of these systems do – every single one – is it exploits our own natural tendencies in human beings to get and want feedback, and that feedback, chemically speaking, is the release of dopamine in your brain,” warns Palihapitya. “And so, what these feedback loops do – and they exist everywhere – in Call of Duty, in other video games, in social networking sites – they get you to react.”
And there, dear reader, is the vicious cycle. You post, you get a like, you receive dopamine. You repost to get another hit, wait, get a like, and numb your senses with this fight or flight substance.
“God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” Sean Parker, former president of Facebook, exclaims. “[Facebook] was all about how do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible? And that means … we need to give you a dopamine hit every once in a while …”
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