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( A six-minute read)

Facebook is simply a platform and will never be held responsible for its users.

We can’t blame tech makers for making their products so good we want to use them. We are in control. But are we?

Facebook like all other platforms has been distorted by the fortunes they have been able to earn through advertising.

Why?

Because the techniques these companies use are not always generic: they are algorithmically tailored to each person.

There can be no ethics when it comes to technological manipulation that can be sold to the highest bidder.

The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models. Thay have little incentive to deviate from the mantra that their companies are making the world a better place.

But how can Google and Facebook or ANY PLATFORM for that matter be forced to abandon the business models that have transformed them into the most profitable companies on the planet?

Notification technology enables hundred unsolicited interruptions into millions of lives, accelerating the arms race for people’s attention. Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The company’s famous ‘likes’ feature has been described by its creator as ‘bright dings of pseudo-pleasure’.

When you consider that the total size of all global data hit 20 zettabytes in 2017.

This probably means nothing so picture this: If every 64 – gigabyte I Phone were a brick, we could build 80 Great walls of China with the I Phones needed to store all the above data.

It’s growing every second and completely out of any control.

All of our minds are being hijacked.

Our choices are not as free as we think they are. The technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-fledged addictions.

Billions of people have little choice over whether they use these now ubiquitous technologies, and are largely unaware of the invisible ways in which a small number of people in Silicon Valley are shaping their lives.

We now have an internet-shaped around the demands of an advertising economy with technology platforms contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention.

Manipulating people into habitual use of their products or platforms with rewards or short-term social affirmations, while harvested valuable data about the preferences of users that could be sold to advertisers.

So what if anything can be done.

It is very common, for humans to develop things with the best of intentions and for them to have unintended, negative consequences.

We’ve truly reached a new level of technological time wasting, with the young generation unable to communicate.

If we the adult world cannot wean ourselves free a good starting point would be if we are to exercise our freedom by banning,  iPhones, iPads, laptops and mobile phones from places of education.

They will become a real problem if you don’t, as they are ridiculous thing to be addicted to. It just something to use when you’re procrastinating or is it a procrastination-trap, a slate of tools destined to get you addicted.

We have to learn to deal more effectively with our emotions if we want to procrastinate less.

Such as varying the rewards people receive to create a craving, or exploiting negative emotions that can act as triggers. It makes them look like they have a life.

Social media and other addictive technologies have and are creating an attention economy, which is severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and is possibly lowering IQ.

One reason I think it is particularly important for us to talk about this now is that we may be the last generation that can remember life before the Internet.

Drawing a straight line between addiction to social media and political earthquakes like Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, digital forces have completely upended the political system and, left unchecked, could even render democracy as we know it obsolete.

The mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. Everyone is distracted, all of the time.

Feelings of boredom, loneliness, frustration, confusion, and indecisiveness often instigate a slight pain or irritation and prompt an almost instantaneous and often mindless action to quell the negative sensation by looking at your I Phone, I Pad

If the people who built these technologies are taking such radical steps to wean themselves free, can the rest of us reasonably be expected to

”Chrome extension, called DF YouTube, “which scrubs out a lot of those external triggers” an app called Pocket Points that “rewards you for staying off your phone when you need to focus”

Get a life and use one.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.

https://embed.ted.com/talks/tristan_harris_the_manipulative_tricks_tech_companies_use_to_capture_your_attention

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