Tweet How much time do you spend on social media websites daily? There is hardly a young person in the world who does not possess a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account. We use social media primarily for communication and entertainment. We chat, upload photos and video files, read articles about various topics and play video games.
Comment When we get sucked into our smartphones or distracted, we think it's just an accident and our responsibility. It's also because smartphones and apps hijack our Online gambling addiction essay psychological biases and vulnerabilities.
I learned about our minds' vulnerabilities when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, vulnerabilities and biases of people's minds, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people's buttons, you can play them like a piano.
And this is exactly what technology does to your mind. App designers play your psychological vulnerabilities in the race to grab your attention. I want to show you how they do it, and offer hope that we have an opportunity to demand a different future from technology companies.
If you're an app, how do you keep people hooked? Turn yourself into a slot machine. The average person checks their phone times a day. Why do we do this? Are we making conscious choices? One major reason why is the number one psychological ingredient in slot machines: If you want to maximize addictiveness, all tech designers need to do is link a user's action like pulling a lever with a variable reward.
You pull a lever and immediately receive either an enticing reward a match, a prize! Addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable. Does this effect really work on people? Slot machines make more money in the United States than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined.
Several billion people have a slot machine in their pocket. When we pull our phone out of our pocket, we're playing a slot machine to see what notifications we have received. When we swipe down our finger to scroll the Instagram feed, we're playing a slot machine to see what photo comes next.
When we "Pull to Refresh" our email, we're playing a slot machine to see what email we got.
When we swipe faces on dating apps like Tinder, we're playing a slot machine to see if we got a match. Sometimes this is intentional: Apps and websites sprinkle intermittent variable rewards all over their products because it's good for business. Other times, for example with email or smartphones, it's an accident.
Another way technology hijacks our minds is by inducing the 1 percent chance we could be missing something important. But Apps also exploit our need for social approval.
When we see the notification "Your friend Marc tagged you in a photo" we instantly feel our social approval and sense of belonging on the line.Smartphone Addiction The Slot Machine in Your Pocket.
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