Sean Parker was the founding president of Facebook, famously portrayed by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network. He is the ultimate Facebook insider, giving unparalleled insight into the early design of the platform.
He confirms that their goal at Facebook (which subsequently became the playbook for other social media companies) was to figure out how to keep people engaged and coming back to the networks as much as possible.
“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’“
Like good hackers, Parker, Zuckerberg and the team were searching for vulnerabilities… in his words “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”
“God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
These comments further highlight the importance of understanding how social media companies use psychological tactics to capture your attention and engender habit forming behaviour. You need to be conscious of their aggressive competition for your attention.
Watch Parker’s comments in the video below or read more here.