Saturday, August 19, 2017
Stay connected with us

Home > Mental Health

Tech Insiders Unveil How Apps Become Addictive; Facebook Programmed To Form Habit [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 11, 2017 11:25 PM EDT
Close
Google fires employee James Damore behind anti-diversity memo
Apps
A new Google Pixel XL phone is displayed at the new Google pop-up shop in the SoHo neighborhood on Oct. 20, 2016 in New York City. Get to know how apps can be addictive to users.
(Photo : Getty Images / Spencer Platt)

Tech insiders revealed what many smartphone users have been experiencing without being aware of it- how apps become addictive. Facebook is a prime example.

It may not be very obvious but the way people all over the world behave as they interact with technology is being guided and molded by programmers in what is called "brain hacking." How apps become addictive largely depends on these people's ability to make them as engaging as possible. They take advantage of the knowledge about the way the brain works as they develop the things we enjoy today with our phones and other electronic gadgets.

They Keep Users Engaged

For instance, social media giant, Facebook is designed to keep users scrolling through the news feed to find something appealing-a behavior that can be habit-forming. The insiders admitted that apps like this tap onto the brain mechanism responsible for addiction. The primary reason this is done is the income it brings to the firms.

Facebook comes free to its users but advertisers pour billions of dollars into it. It is able to gather data from people, which become the basis for ad contents.

There Are Companies That Boost Apps

Dopamine Lab, a startup company that provides tools for the personalization of sense of delight to applications, is well aware of how apps become addictive. In fact, it helps apps do so with the use of artificial intelligence that adapts to the user's behavior.

Its website boasts of a 167 percent increase in the period people use the apps with Dopamine Labs tools. The founder, Ramsay Brown, has a background in neuroscience.

Tristan Harris, a programmer who worked for Google as a project manager in the past, expressed alarm that apps have been making a negative effect on people's relationships and a source of distraction among young people.

He likened smartphones to slot machines that people would check to find a reward - something that keeps users coming back for more on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among others.

Get the Most Popular Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
© 2017 Counsel & Heal All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation