We can all agree on the fact that social media has completely changed the way in which we live our lives and socialize. Most people use social media on a daily basis are are always connected, despite distances.
However, throughout the years, we’ve gained more knowledge about the dangers that comes with social media, and how certain companies may be using psychological methods to get us to continue using their products and basically, control our minds.
For one, there’s the reward systems. We are always wanting to win something, which can be given to us by all of our devices. It’s like using a slot machine, our brains focus on a result that is unknown. That’s just like Twitter, where you swipe down on your screen and you’re not sure what will show up next. Your newsfeed is tricking you into constantly scrolling down until you find something rewarding. With this, you are bound to see more ads, which in turn keeps companies going.
Then there’s the aspect of reactions, such as likes and shares. Technically, we think they are used to help us better connect with our friends and socialize more, however they’ve also got another purpose. Every like gives us a dopamine rush, just like what happens to us after a challenging workout. Even the sound of our phone vibrating can give us that rush, and wanting us to keep on coming back for more and more.
When it comes to advertisements, many people chose to ignore the fact that the are the test subject. Our data and time are used for the benefit of large companies without us even knowing. Brands know how to present themselves in a way that seems very inviting and harmless. Companies try to also give us that dopamine rush and get us to react positively to their content.
It can even been found that the color red can cause feelings of danger, and can trigger a quick response. For that very reason it’s used on stop signs. Once upon a time, Facebook notifications were blue and were commonly ignored. Now that they are red, people click on them a lot more.