Facebook. It's something that over 1.8 Billion people are using on a daily basis — can you believe that? For many of us, it's the first thing we do when we wake up, and the last thing we do before we go to bed at night. Is this a healthy relationship? There is no doubt that Facebook has connected all of us on a level that may have previously been unimaginable. Without Facebook, a lot of important information would not have been seen. It presented a platform to share so much information and so many ideas.
How Did This Happen?
But, was this all by mistake? Was Facebook solely created to connect College kids, and simply exploded from there? Was it an accident? Were there sinister intentions behind its creation or did all those, if any, creep in after its success? Was it designed to essentially suck as much of our time away from us as possible? Well, according to former Facebook president, Sean Parker, that's exactly what it was designed for and continues to do.
Either Parker is a disgruntled ex employee trying to seek revenge on the corporate giant, or he is worried enough about the implications of Facebook as we know it now, and potentially where is headed. I'll leave it to you to decide after reading some of what he recently announced during an interview with Axios.
Parker joked that the following comments would probably get him blocked from Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg.
"When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, 'I'm not on social media.' And I would say, 'OK. You know, you will be.' And then they would say, 'No, no, no. I value my real-life interactions. I value the moment. I value presence. I value intimacy.' And I would say, … 'We'll get you eventually.'"
I can relate to this statement as I've seen many people that always said they would never use Facebook come over to the dark side, or even people like my Mother who barely know how to use a computer, add me as a 'friend.'
"I don't know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains."
Could anyone have understood the implications of what something this massive could have brought to our society is a whole? He's right, Facebook has taken over aspects of our lives in many ways.
"The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: 'How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'"
How much time do you spend on Facebook?
"And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that's going to get you to contribute more content, and that's going to get you … more likes and comments."