Manipulation works best when you don’t know you are being manipulated. Where do you think your opinions come from?
YOUR VERY FIRST OPINIONS
As a child you adopted most your opinions from the people you grew up with. You mimic their behaviour and learn what is right and what to avoid.
As an adult it is your job to question those opinions and relearn new belief patterns and behaviours that align with your core values.
THE RISE OF TECHNOLOGY
Most people in my generation started using technology when our brains were still developing rapidly. I got my first phone at the age of around 10 and started using social media when I was about 14. Obviously being exposed to so much information at once influenced my opinions and the way I viewed myself as well.
HOW COMPANIES CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE YOURSELF
The other day I watched a very informative, interesting movie on Netflix called “The Social Dilemma”. It was eye-opening in so many ways. I highly recommend it.
In the film, many former employees of huge tech companies like Twitter or Facebook are being interviewed. They reveal many shocking “secrects” about social media and the way it works.
It showed me how easily humans are being manipulated. The way you see content online is not designed in your best interest. These companies have one goal: profit. How do they achieve that? The longer they can keep you on their app, the more attention you give it, the more ads they can show you.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT PAYING FOR A PRODUCT, THEN YOU ARE THE PRODUCT
Think about it: The clients of businesses like Instagram are the people that pay them. Which means that Instagram cares more about the companies that pay for ad space than they do about you or your mental health.
This results in technology that is designed to be highly addictive and time consuming. You are more likely to stay on their site when they show you content that you agree with. Your content feed is personalized and carefully crafted only for you so you spend more time on the app and therefore make them more money.
THE UNREGULATED MANIPULATION GAME
Algorithms don’t care whether or not the information it shows you is true or not. It just wants your attention so it can show you as many ads inbetween as possible. That’s how movements like “the flat earth society” are formed.
The thing is that these algorithms learn and develop to predict your behaviour. They store all your data like location or how long you look at a post and craft a digital identity of you to use it against yourself.
It is basically a game of exponentially developing technology that is programmed for manipulation vs. the human brain that developed only slightly in the past 100.000 years ago. Who do you think wins?