Social Media - the New Tobacco

Social Media – the New Tobacco

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The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they are friendly nerd gods trying to build a better world. And admit they’re just tobacco farmers in t-shirts selling an addictive product to children because, let’s face it, checking your likes is the new smoking. A recent 60 Minutes exposed what is called brain hacking. 
How everything Silicon Valley develops is purposefully designed to make us feel compelled to check-in constantly. To make you want to use it in particular ways and for long periods of time because that is how they make their money. every time they check their phone, users are playing the slot machine – what did I get? To hijack people’s minds and form a habit. That’s right! Apple, Google, Facebook – they are essentially drug dealers. And then I thought, where have I heard this before – no I realized, oh yeah on 60 Minutes. 
The tobacco industry was in the nicotine delivery business. That is what cigarettes are for. Cigarettes are a delivery device for nicotine. Yup! It was never about smooth tobacco flavor – it was about the nicotine and the other drugs the tobacco industry deliberately put in to make it addictive. It was not enough just to sell you a product – people needed to be addicted to it. 
Every time you check your phone you are pulling that slot machine handle because you might get a reward, a text, a like – we all know the feeling, we post a picture on social media and when the likes pop-up it floods your brain with gratifying dopamine. Facebook purposely holds back the likes sometimes so that you will keep checking. 
How come my friends did not like that picture of my soup? What is wrong with me? Wait until we see this picture of my water bottle. It’s come to this – you do not exist until you get a 🙂 or a thumbs up or a giant thumbs up. This is why the average person interacts with their phone over 2600 times a day. It wants all your attention – all of the time. It is not a service, it is Glen Close in Fatal Attraction.  
A third of Americans check their phones during meals. 19% of them check it in church. Pedestrian deaths are way up because people in crosswalks looking down are getting run over by drivers looking down the whole damn country is looking down. Phillip Morris just wanted your lungs, the app store wants your soul
October 2023

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