Former Facebook Executive: “You Don’t Realize It, But You Are Being Programmed”

There is no denying that the creation of social media has been one of the most revolutionary changes to our modern society.


It has completely changed the way in which we communicate with each, other, the way we seek out information and has changed our general outlook on life.

There is immense pressure on people to present a ‘perfect life’ on their social media profiles, Facebook in particular.

The rise of Facebook has coincided with a stark rise in the number of anxiety and depression issues being reported in young people and it is thought that despite aiming to bring people together, social media makes people feel even more isolated and alone.

The dark side of social media was touched on by former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya who spoke at an event run by the Stamford Graduate School of Business.

He warned:

“We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,”

He said that social media creates “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops.” which people should take a break from every now and then, and said that he feels “tremendous guilt’ for helping Facebook to gain so many members during his time there.

At first, social media was hailed as the best thing the internet has ever created, it was celebrated and people rushed to various different sites, but over time the way we use social media has completely changed.


So much of our lives are now lived-out online, however this is not a ‘real’ life, and the paradox of online to real day to day living is completely jarring.

People seem to have forgotten that there is a life beyond their phone screen, and have become hooked on validation and ‘likes’ from posts about their day. There is a pressure to ‘show off’ on social media which has encompassed the way many people live their lives.

Palihaptiya said

“We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection, because we get rewarded in these short term signals: Hearts, likes, thumbs up,”

“We conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth, and instead what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that’s short term and leaves you even more vacant and empty before you did it.

“You don’t realise it but you are being programmed.”

If the people responsible for the creation of Facebook are turning around and saying that it’s bad for us, we should probably sit up and listen.

Via Idea Pod

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