The Undeniable Reason Why The Term “Social Media Addiction” Exists:

As Long As Social Media Platforms Continue To Make Money By Selling Our Attention, They Are Unlikely To Change Their Practices On Their Own.

Hello Everyone, Today We’ll Be Talking About Why Social Media Addiction Is Not Your Problem, Rather You Are Forced To Use Social Media Using Some Psychological Techniques. This Is Going To Be A Long But An Interesting Post, So Lets Start! 😎

Best Way Not To Be Addicted To Social Media Is To Know How They Are Trying To Be Addictive!

I Have Always Believed That If You Wish To Learn Something It’s All About Asking The Right Questions, Thus I’ll Ask Those Questions For You Today And Answer Them, Which Will Help Us Discover The Truth Together. The Questions Will Make You Think And Will Ultimately Prove To Be The Real Answers.

Smartphone Addiction Is An Issue Faced By A Lot Of People.
reporter

We’ll Start With Why Social Media Is Made Addicting In The First Place:

Have You Ever Thought Why Google And Its Services Are Free?

Isn’t It Too Much Google Is Offering For Free?

Why Social Media Platforms Like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, TikTok Are All Free To Use, Why?

Why Only Social Media? Think Of Any Online Service. How Can Someone Offer Something For Free?

Don’t You Think You Require Money To Run Any Business?

How Are These Companies Which Offer Services For Free, Making Billions Of Dollars And Are The Wealthiest Companies Of All Time?

Some Of You May/May Not Know The Answer. Generally Speaking, The Answer Is an Advertisement. Targeted Advertisement. But Do You Think We Can Earn Much Money Just From Ads?

Ads Shown To Users On Various Platforms
adpush

The Key To Earn Money: Advertisements

I Promised You All That I’ll Share With You How Tech Giants Are Psychologically Controlling You, Believe It Or Not, We Are On The Same Topic 😊.

For Most Of Us, Ads Are Just A Medium For Product/Company To Communicate With Their Potential Customers Right?

Let’s Build Up The Idea Of Advertisement As An Option For A Company To Make Money From Scratch:

Let’s Think It From The Company’s Point Of View. I Have An Service (Think Of Any Service) Which I Want To Keep Free For People. When I Give A Service Out For Free, I Increase The Target Audience To Each And Every Person Who Has An Internet Connection. But If It’s Free, How Will I Make Money? One Possible Way Is That I Can Show Ads To People. Advertisers Will Pay Me For Showing Ads On My Platform, Which Will Help Me Make Money. Simple Isn’t It? But The Ads Should Be Meaningful To The User.

An Ad For Baby Care Products May Be Completely Useless For A College Teenager. The Older Generation Will Be Less Interested In Smartphone Ads.

One Obvious Thing Is That The Number Of Advertisers Willing To Pay Me Will Increase If My Audience Actually Buys/Uses The Advertised Products. If My User Finds My Ads Meaningful, Only Then He Will Be Interested In Ad And Click/Opt For It. So, I Must Show Personalised Ad For Each User. But How? I Somehow Need To Collect User Data Like His/Her Interests, Age Group, Preferences, To Be Able To Show Meaningful Ads.

Google Knows Many Things About You
pc-freak

Still, It Seems OK Right?

All The Above Things Related To Ads Are Controlled By Ad Networks Like Google, Facebook, Amazon, And Other Players. All They Need To Do Is Collect User Data Categorize Ads Based On Interests And Show It To You. A Few Lines Of Code In An App/Website Can Integrate These Services Into Your Platform And You Can Earn Money.

Facebook Knows A Lot Of Things About You
medium

Let’s Continue The Story :

I Can Buy An Ad Service For My Platform. I’ll Earn More Money For More Number Of Ads People See, Click Upon. If More People See The Ads, I’ll Earn More Money.

Remember It’s Not Always About How Many People Click On Your Ads, Even If People See Your Ads, They Have A Long Lasting Impact Due To It? Why Do You Think They Show Ads On Television? 😏

How Social Media Uses Ad Networks
izooto

Here Comes The Game Changer. 😎

What If I Tempt My Users To Use My Service?

Have You Ever Felt That You Are Addicted To Social Media? Are You Tempted To Open Instagram/WhatsApp/Facebook/Youtube Every Time You Unlock Your Phone?

What If I Say It’s Not Your Fault That You Are Addicted To Social Media?

Tech Giants Have Engineers Sitting Behind The Screen Making Designs, Features Whose Main Aim Is To Make You To Use The App. Since They Design The Service In Such A Way That You Spend A Longer Time On Their App. I Often See People Scrolling Through Their Infinite Instagram Feed, Facebook Feed. They Make It So Effortless To Stay On These Apps That You Don’t Even Need To Click On The Video To Play It. The Autoplay Feature Does That For You. All You Need To Do Is To Scroll.

They Want You To Be Addicted !!!

Story Continued

So Now My Company Forces Users To Open My App Because Its Addictive. It’ll Show Them Ads Based On Their Interests. Thus This Technique Helps Me Make More Money.

Wait It Only Gets Worse 😏

What If I Start Deciding What People Like? I Suggest Them Content Their Friends Already Like, I’ll Keep The App Addictive, And I’ll Keep Showing More Content. This Way I Can Earn A Hell Lot Of Money !!!

You Do Not Have Control Over Your Minds, Whereas Social Media Has. It Makes You Feel You Are The One With All The Thoughts You Come Up With But It’s All Controlled By Them. Take Youtube, For Instance, Youtube Shows Content In Which You Are Interested And Also Content It Thinks You Might Be Interested In.

There Are Some Very Basic Psychological Tricks, Which Enables These Giants Use To Keep You Hooked Up To Their Apps/Platforms.

Learn How Some Psychological Tricks Manipulate Your Brain Ultimately Leading To Addiction:

1)Your Brain Loves Social Media Notifications

Can You Resist Yourself When You Get Those Instagarm/Facebook/Whatapp Notifications? Those Numbers On The Top Of Your App Icons Are They Not Irresistible? These Notifications Can Also Make You Feel A Broad Variety Of Emotions.

Social Media Apps And Notifications
Q4launch

2)Use Of Attention-Grabbing Colours:

Human Eyes Are Sensitive To Warm Colours, Also The Red Colour Is The Key Elements Here.E Red Colour Has The Power To Attract Your Attention. Different Colours Have Different Psychological Impacts On Your Brain.

Have You Ever Wondered Why The App Icons Have The Notifications In Red?

Did This 👆 Red Background Text Instantly Grab Your Attention? Red Is A Colour Which Grabs Your Attention Instantly. Thus For New Messages, Notifications On App Icons, The Colour Is Red & Not Any Other Colour.

To Prove My Point, I’ve Created An Image For You. You Can See The Difference Between The Two App Icons. 👇 Isn’t The Left One More Attention Grabbing Than The Right One?

The Color Of Notification On The App Icon On Social Media Apps
The App Icon With Red Notification Indicator Attracts Your Attention More Right?
How Social Media Uses Colors And Their Emotional Trigger
crazyegg

3)Social Media Gives You A Sense Of Self-Worth

People Liking Your Post, People Appreciating Your Photos, Doesn’t It Feels Great? But What If You Start Expecting This every time You Post Something? This Craving For Appreciation Makes Your Brain Click You On The Icons Again And Again. You Rely On The Internet For Social Interaction, Which May Make You Feel You Have No Friends At All Since The Only Time You Communicate With Them Is When You Are Online. This May Reduce Your Self-Esteem Rather Than Increasing It. Don’t You Think This Also Is A Very Import Reason Why Social Media Addiction Exists?

4)The Dopamine Effect

Many Of These Attention-Capturing Tricks Use Our Brain’s Dopamine System. Dopamine Is A Chemical Which Creates A Feeling Of Pleasure & Want. And Thus This Chemical Also Controls Our Over-Use Of Social Media. Your Brain Wants More, Since It Feels All The Social Attention You Get, The Reward System Of These Social Media Triggers It. This Is Another Key Reason For Your Social Media Addiction.

The Pull Of Dopamine Is So Strong That Studies Have Shown Tweeting Is Harder For People To Resist Than Cigarettes And Alcohol.

5)Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) :

FOMO is a large driver of social network use, particularly for those aged thirty and under. Sixty-seven percent of users say that they’re afraid they’ll “miss something.” Is This Not An Important Reason Why You Use Social Media? You Think All Your Friends Are There, They Maybe Enjoying Something You May Not Even See. These Thoughts Drive You To Get Into Social Media, And Thus You Are Trapped Into It.

FOMO Or Fear Of Missing Out Is Driving People To Use Social Media
60secondmarketer

6)Tricks Of The Slot Machine:

They Build Features Into Their Apps That Manipulate Our Brain Chemistry. Also, These Tricks Are Borrowed Straight From Casinos And Slot Machines, Which Are Widely Considered To Be Some Of The Most Addictive Machines Ever Invented.

The ‘Pull-To-Refresh’ Feature Common To Social Media Apps, Where Dragging The Screen Downwards Prompts The Screen To Refresh. Not Only Is The Action Itself Similar To Pulling The Lever On A Slot Machine, But It Takes Advantage Of Our Attraction.

The Slot Machine Addiction Is Brought To Social Media Now
Vice

Scrolling Through Instagram Feeds Is Similar Such Thing, Gives You A Sense Of Control Whereas You Have Far Less Control Of What You See Than You Imagine.

7) Your Ego 😶😑😶

Ego Needs A Platform To Showcase Itself And Social Networks Are The Perfect Answer. Eighty Percent Of Our Online Conversations Are Self-Disclosure, Compared To 30 To 40 Percent Of Offline Conversations. We Live In A ‘Me’ Society With An Obsession With The ‘Self’ That Drives Us To Update Our Status And Tag Ourselves In Photos (But Only Those That We Look Good In Of Course).

View This Amazing Video From Vox Explaining How These Services Are Designed To Be Addictive And Also Includes Tips To Stop Social Media Addiction.

Not Only For Being Addicting, But Also For Making You Do The Things You Don’t Want To Do. Designs Of These Services Are Such That You Spend More Money On Apps, Website Even When You Are Not Planning/Willing To Do So.

Since We Cannot Directly Control All These Factors Which Make These Social Media Platform Addicting, We Can Atleast Try To understand How These Works And Thus Help Us Live Better Digital Lives.

Therefore Understanding These Concepts Is Equally Important.

Read The Following Tips To Stop Your Social Media Addiction:

  1. Turning Off Unwanted Notifications: Unwanted Notifications Distract You From Your Work/Life. Go To Your App Settings And Allow The App To Give You Notifications Only When A Real Person Is Trying To Communicate With You. Thus All Those Unwanted Recommendations, Distractions Will Go Away.
  2. Try Keeping The App Out Of Reach. Do Not Keep Your App On Your Home Screen. This Will Help You Stay Away From Social Media When It’s Unnecessary. If You Keep Such Apps On Your Home Screen, It Becomes Your Reflex To Click Upon It Even When You Don’t Need It.
  3. This Advice Will Be Too Much For Some People 😅 But It Is Actually The Most Powerful Tip 😎. As Told In The Video Above, Change Your Screen To Greyscale, Thus Eliminating The Attempt Of These Apps To Attract Your Visual Attention.
Use Your Phone In Grey Scale For Less Distractions Due To Social Media
WSJ

4. Start Identifying How These Social Media Giants Are Wanting To Control Your Brain. If You Stay Alert While Using Such Apps, You’ll Ultimately Be Free From Their Tricks.

It’s All Up to YOU Now. You Can Still Continue Your Digital Lifestyle, Be Like Other Ordinary People, Do What These Social Media Giants Want You To Do, Or You Can Choose To Get Out Of Your Social Media Addiction By Understanding How They Want To Control You.

Remember It’s All About Them Controlling You For Their Profit.

Do You Want To Be Controlled By Them Or Will You Choose To Control Yourself Now?

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