”The short term dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works.”. (Chamat Palihapitiya) Jarod Lamier, founding father of the field of virtual reality says that society has been gradually darkened by the scheme in which everyone is under surveillance all the time and everyone is under this mild version of behavior modification all the time.
When creating Facebook, the question that the first president, Sean parker asked was following: ”How do we consume your time and conscious attention as much as possible?” Sam Vaknin mean that the people behind the social media platforms have maliciously and criminally designed algorithms exactly to cater human pathology in it most extremes forms and that platforms for addiction has been made without any responsibility for the consequences.
“We have all been sold on the idea of using social media on the basis of increased connectivity and inclusivity, but what if the design of social media shifted to something else all together? What if it deliberately being used against inclusivity and connectivity with the idea of face-to-face human interaction, vulnerability and intimacy- actually being an enemy to social media usage in terms of it harvesting maximum time and attention?” says Richard Grannon in his documentary Plugged in: The true Toxicity of social media revealed.
Those who design the algorithms must develop the algorithms around the purpose, and the purpose is attention. So social media is designed to be as attention grabbing as possible. Quickly stimulating and rewarding. It is a capitalistic system that does this for its own gain, he says.
Author of Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited Sam Vaknin saus that social media was design to condition. “Once they got conditioned, they reacted as any conditioned or addict and developed depression and anxiety. The platforms us “relative positioning”. What are the emotions that are attached to relative positioning? The first one is: Envy. Social media is constructed around envy. Pathological envy, perverse pathological envy and the platforms amplify it. And they even quantify envy via various rankings algorithms. (likes, retweets etc) and then the leverage envy to motivate you. They use envy to cause you to adopt a cause of action. So they weaponize envy. There is no wonder that these platforms became platforms for hate speech, fake news, for bullying, they where built for this! The platforms where absolutely build for this. “
Assuming that the internet has an all perverting influence, he continues, one can categorize the users into three groups:
Group 1: Exposed to the internet in their late 20´s, 30´s and 40´s.
Group 2: Exposed to the internet during adolescence.
Group 3: The digital natives, exposed to the internet during the formative years. “Born with a tablet”
The first group still use social media as a form of communicating. They communicate as they would have on a telephone, postal mail. They see the social media as an extension of the telegraph, telephone etc.
For the digital natives, social media IS the world. There is no other world outside it. There is no reality outside it. They live inside social media. These are simulated people. They live inside a simulation. They experience themselves as real people who live real lives, but they don’t. They are living in a Matrix. They interact with digital renditions of other people, of objects, places and events.
Sam talks about that selfies today constitutes 60% of all activity on social network. He remember when social network started, it was never about selfies. He don’t even remember selfies back in the days. He means that selfies became very prominent during 2015-16 and today it is 6 of everyting-post. In other words; in 60% we interact with ourselves. We watch ourselves, we take pictures of ourselves etc. “I look at me, you look at me, look at me”. So, we have a situation of making love to ourselves psychologically, falling in love of ourselves, developing emotional investments in ourselves. This is known as cathexis (emotional investment). Object relation theory in psychology told us that we start by being emotional invested in ourselves and then we learn to externalize this investment and invest in others. This is called object relation, we invest in objects. Social media reverses this process and create regression. Indeed social media encourages very very primitive, infantile, baby like defense mechanisms such as splitting, you are either my friend or my enemy. Like/ dislike. It is a very binary system. “Binary state”. If you once in your life feel true intimacy, social media suddenly feel plastic and creepy. Absolutely creepy.