Two former Facebook executives have come out saying that they regret their role in creating the social media revolution, as they feel that it is having harmful consequences that they did not foresee.
The Dissatisfactions of the Two Former Facebook Executives
It all started last month, with former president Sean Parker.
“God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” he said, in reference to the “billion or 2 billion people” who use the product.
He explains that social media could produce what he calls an “a social-validation feedback loop”. Someone likes your picture, you get a little thrill. However, those small thrills could start being addictive, since they come as the result of a dopamine release in your brain. It’s the same sort of thing that happens to gambling addicts when they win four quarters at the slot machine.
Now his words are being echoed by Chamath Palihapitiya, the former vice president of user growth. But as he notes, this is not only deleterious for the “addict,” but for society as a whole. He claims that these dopamine-driven feedback loops are short-term and artificially created. Palihapitiya considers that they are “destroying how society works”.
“No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth—and it’s not an American problem. This is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem,” he continued.
One can even continue with the addict analogy by pointing out that these need to take larger and larger hits to get the same “high”. As such, some Facebook users are so desperate for the perceived social acceptance of their particular in-group that they let their opinions polarize. In doing so, they make more bombastic statements to get more of a reaction from people.
Palihapitiya admits to feeling guilty about his part in this. He says that he does not use social media anymore because he does not want to be “programmed.”
The former exec was even more blunt when asked if his children are on Facebook.
“They’re not allowed to use this shit.”
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