If you watched the 2010 blockbuster “The Social Network”, you know a lot about Sean Parker already. Sean was the first president of Facebook. This guy’s the reason why you see Facebook instead of The Facebook today. Sean had to resign as president due to a drug scandal back in 2005.
During his speech about innovative cancer research on an Axios event in NCC, Philadelphia, Parker stated how badly social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are impacting people’s mind. He’s concerned how the social network is interfering our lives and social relations.
“It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways”, Sean said, “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains”.
According to him, Facebook was built to be addictive. The main purpose of these websites is to keep their users hooked as much as possible. They make money of people’s time.
The best way to get users’ emotional (full) attention is to give them social validation and the feeling of achieving something. Whenever a user’s post gets liked/shared by other people or his/her tweet gets retweeted several times, the brain releases a hormone named Dopamine aka. the happy hormone. This makes the person feel rewarded and happy. He referred to this fact as “vulnerability in human psychology”.
This sense of achievement and happiness makes people create more posts or tweets which ultimately benefits the company. This is why there’s no dislike button on Facebook or Twitter.
“It’s a social-validation feedback loop”, the billionaire said, “exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with”. Parker also admitted that he and Zuckerberg were well aware of this, but yet they “did it anyway”.
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It is a known fact that addiction rewires our brain. Our urge to open Facebook is our brain’s hunger for dopamine. The constant urge of dopamine leads to more addiction. This impacts our productivity and quality of life effectively.
In the end, he mocked that Mark might block him on Facebook if he ever reads Sean’s comments. You can watch the original video of the interview here.
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