Former Mozilla and Jawbone employee, Aza Raskin, a technology engineer, in 2006 designed the option of infinite scroll, which allows users to endlessly read their content without even clicking, and this one of the potentials available for users in today’s custom apps.
Social media companies are deliberately addicting their clients in order to increase profits, as web engineers working in the Silicon Valley discovered for the BBC.
“If you do not give your brain time to get your impulses, you just keep scrolling. Behind every screen on your phone, there are generally thousands of engineers that have worked on this thing to make it maximally addicting”, said Aza Raskin, who feels guilty for not distracting addicts from his option of infinite scroll.
He said many designers were driven to create addictive app features at the request of the big companies. A former Facebook employee, Sandy Parakilas, tried to stop using this network’s service after leaving the company in 2012.
“It literally felt like I was quitting cigarettes. At Facebook I realized that the company was aware of habits and addictions its product formed”, he told for the BBC.
One of the most alluring aspects of social media is the Like button, which can come in the form of the thumbs-up sign, hearts, or retweets. Leah Pearlman said she had become hooked on Facebook because she had begun basing her sense of self-worth on the number of “likes” she had.
“I’m feeling lonely, ‘Let me check my phone.’ I’m feeling insecure, ‘Let me check my phone. I noticed that I was becoming addicted on feedback. I call on young people who recognize that social media are problematic to consider steering clear of such apps”, added Pearlman, who has been trying to cure her addiction for a year and a half now. Research shows that there is a link between excessive use of social media and depression, loneliness, and numerous psychological problems. Facebook’s official stance on this topic for the BBC is that its products are designed to “bring people to their friends, family, and the things they care about and in no way aim at creating addiction.”
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