Tonight 60 minutes aired a segment titled "Brain Hacking" with Tristan Harris, a former Google Product Philosopher. In his interview with Anderson Cooper, Harris describes how tech companies strive to make the apps we use as addicting as possible. The goal is to reach "brain stem" reliance on apps like Snapchat, Facebook and G+. Obviously they've done better on some than others. At what point do they cross the line and what effect will this have on coming generations who don't know any different?
Addictive behavior is unhealthy. It doesn't matter if it's addiction to alcohol, drugs or even social media. In the 60 minutes piece it is evident that social media companies are bent on getting you hooked on their app. Facebook is one of the most egregious offenders. Their website and app are like social media crack to millions of users. Just seeing that little notification pop up hits your brain with a dopamine rush. This is not good. There is help though...just turn off Facebook notifications. Here's how:
Turning Off Facebook Notifications:
- Open your Facebook app or site.
- On the app, click the "hamburger" menu at the far right of the page (three line icon)
- Scroll down and click on the "notification Settings"
- Click the "Push" selection.
- Click "Recent Notifications"
- From the "Push Notifications" page you can selectively disable notifications.
They don't make this an easy task. However, you do have very granular control. There are many notifications that you will need to disable. They include:
- Comments after you in a photo
- Upcoming Birthdays
- Comments on stories in your timeline.
- Comments after you on a timeline stories.
- Comments after you on a video.
- Tags in posts.
- Posts from close friends.
- Comments on your posts to groups.
- Posts to your groups.
- Comments you're mentioned in.
- Likes on your pages.
- Reminding about saved items.
After disabling all these I thought all my notification addictions were over...but they were not. If you have business pages or groups, then you will need to repeat this exercise with those accounts too. However, I DO like to keep tabs on my business pages and groups, so those can be left on or granularly controlled. Just like a typical drug addict, you'll have to ween yourself off slowly. Failing to ease off gradually might result in relapse.
Hope this helps.