The Psychology Behind Why We Can't Stop Messaging - Deepstash

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The Psychology Behind Why We Can't Stop Messaging

https://www.nirandfar.com/the-psychology-behind-why-we-cant-stop-messaging/

nirandfar.com

The Psychology Behind Why We Can't Stop Messaging
In this post, I analyze he psychology behind how messaging services like WhatsApp utilize the Hook Model to keep users engaged and coming back.

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Smartphones and Messaging

Smartphones and Messaging

Phones became smart more than a decade ago and started doing almost everything.

While the app store has millions of apps to take care of our needs, connecting with other people remains one ...

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The Message

The technological tools we use keeps us connected to the people that matter to us, and the text (later rich text message) is one of the oldest ways of communication since portable phones came into ...

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The Four-Step Hook

... deployed by the messaging software and many other products is composed of:

  1. Trigger
  2. Action
  3. Variable Reward
  4. Investment

Understandi...

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The Trigger

... towards doing something can be external, like a ‘click here’ button, or internal, like an emotion or craving. A successful trigger graduates from being an external one into something inbuilt in...

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The Action

Any trigger, be it a text message notification or an emotion, prompts a user to take some action, like opening the app or clicking a button.

This simple action can be internalized and make...

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Variable Reward

  • BF Skinner, a psychologist, found that if an action gives a variable, unpredictable reward, it is more frequently used and is addictive.
  • Like a slot machine, the reward is not some...

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Investment

There is a push provided to the user to ‘invest’ in the service so that there are variable rewards in the future. This can be anything from uploading a new profile picture to set a status updat...

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Hooked To Technology

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  • Most of us check email too often, almost like a compulsive disorder. Just like any habit, there are internal cues, triggers and impulses that make us behave in a certain way with no consciou...

Bury The Triggers That Hijack Your Attention

Put your mind at ease by burying all the triggers that hijack your attention and keep you away from concentrating on your work.

  1. The first thing is to turn off all the external triggers like your phone notifications, chimes, reminders or icons that rob us of our attention. For persistent apps, you can hide the icon in some folder.
  2. Use online tools like vacation responders and email filters.
  3. Use online calendars that let people schedule time for a meeting.

TikTok

TikTok is reportedly 500 million users strong. It’s been a while since a new social app got big enough to make nonusers feel they’re missing out from an experience.

TikTok is an app for...

TikTok "tools"

Video creators have all sorts of tools available.
  • Filters as on Snapchat.
  • The ability to search for sounds to score your video.
  • It provides extensive reasons and prompts.
  • Hashtags play a large role as a functional organizing principle. 
  • It nudges you and makes it easy to come up with material to post.
  • Users are encouraged to engage with other users in two ways: Through "response" videos and through "duets" where a user replicates a video and add themselves alongside.

Fundamentally different

TikTok has stepped over the point between the familiar self-directed feed and experience based on algorithmic observation and inference. When you open the app, you don't see a feed of your friends, but a page called "For You" - It's an algorithmic feed based on videos you've interacted with or just watched.

It's not full of people you know or things you've explicitly told it you want to see. It is constantly learning from you and builds up a model of what you tend to watchIn short, it is like an Instagram centered entirely around its "Explore" tab.

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