Social media and the neuroscience of predictive processing – Mark Miller & Ben White | Aeon Essays - Deepstash

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Social media and the neuroscience of predictive processing – Mark Miller & Ben White | Aeon Essays

Social media and the neuroscience of predictive processing – Mark Miller & Ben White | Aeon Essays


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On social media, being good looking is important to attract a certain audience. Social media influencers are going to great lengths to appear appealing to their followers, in order to grow their fame. They spend thousands of dollars on surgeries and makeovers, making sure no fashion and lifestyle...

  • Digital stimuli interact with the brain like a slot-machine does, making the experience rewarding and addictive.
  • The brain prefers manageable uncertainty, needing to resolve something and feel good.

Some of the social media platforms like...

According to Predictive Processing theorists, being able to manage uncertainty has been associated with living well. A majority of people are failing at checking their online addiction and self-obsession, resulting in increasing cases of depression and despair.

Depression l...

  • Social media showcases to us a world painted with beauty, luxury and leisure, where everyone is looking good and feeling happy.
  • This is creating a gap between the fantasy world in our smartphones and the real world.
  • Apps allow us to present ourselves in t...

  • Some apps allow people to preview the effects of cosmetic surgery on themselves virtually, making them see what will happen when they go under the knife. 
  • The lure of looking good on social media makes many go towards plastic surgery, thinking of it as the only option.
  • The av...

  • Internet porn, according to Science writer Gary Wilson, is a dangerously rewarding and addictive hyper stimulator.
  • Just like pornography is a fancy presentation of unattainable sex goals, social media platforms are a fantasy version catering to our intrinsic desire to socialize with ...

Apart from being a lot like pornography in terms of addiction and depiction of fantasy states, social media is akin to gambling when we see the habit-forming and arousing states of mind it creates.

Gamification of many social media apps makes the unpredictable cycle of soci...

The way app interactions are designed, the user sees highly interactive mechanisms to like, share, upvote or comment, making feedback immediate and direct. The notifications are designed to arouse the user with more variable rewards and eventual compulsive behaviour.

Example: Facebook’s...

Too much engagement with hyper stimulants can cause addiction and depression, which social media companies fine-tune to perfection, leading to a perfect storm. 

This is because more engagement means more profit, and companies know very well what content is addictive and engaging due to thei...

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