A former Facebook executive says he regrets his role in creating a social media monster.
Facebook’s first president Sean Parker now says he regrets helping to create a social media platform that is so addictive it “literally changes your relationship with society.”
“God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” Parker said.
Interestingly, Parker compared Facebook users to lab rats rewarded with cheese for pressing a button. The cheese itself didn’t satisfy the rats, it was the dopamine rush they got from pressing the button.
Parker has said that social media creates “a social-validation feedback loop” by giving people “a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever.”
Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth at Facebook, also expressed his concerns in terms of the dopamine rush people get from social media.
“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” Palihapitiya said during a discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
Parker said the situation is only going to get worse now that every child has a cell phone and is drawn in by the lure of social media rewards such as “likes” and comments. He said he no longer uses Facebook.
“So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundation of how people behave by and between each other. And I don’t have a good solution. My solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years.”
Palihapitiya said he doesn’t use social media because he “innately didn’t want to get programmed.”
As for his kids: “They’re not allowed to use this shit.”