Sean Parker says Facebook exploits a vulnerability in human psychology
Its creators consciously understood it... and did it anywayBy Shawn Knight 13 comments
Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and the founding president of Facebook, is now speaking out against the potential dangers of social media.
During a recent Axios event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Parker recounted how he used to tell holdouts that they would eventually get reeled into social media. He conceded that he didn't know if he really understood the consequences of what he was saying due to the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to have billions of users.
It literally changes your relationship with society and with each other, he said, noting that it probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. "God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains," he added.
Parker also said the thought process that went into building Facebook was about trying to figure out how to consume as much of a user's time and conscious attention as possible.
To get there, Parker notes that they needed to give users "a little dopamine hit every once in a while" in the form of a Like. This, in turn, will get people to contribute more content, generate more Likes and comments (and so on). It's something the creators of Facebook understood consciously, he said, but did it anyway.
Do you agree with Parker's stance? Do you think social media has changed society? If so, is it a good or bad change?