How Your Mind is Being Hijacked by Technology?

How Your Mind is Being Hijacked by Technology?

This article will focus on How Your Mind is Being Hijacked by Technology? It is easier to fool the public than to convince them that they have been fooled, according to an unknown source. Dr. Tristan Harris, a Design Ethicist, believes that technology will consume users’ thoughts in the near future. When we use technology, we become very excited about all the things it can do for us. But in this article, I will explain how your mind is being hijacked by technology and how people are getting drowned in the sea of technology.

How Your Mind is Being Hijacked by Technology?
How Your Mind is Being Hijacked by Technology?

The thought may arise in your mind: Where does technology take advantage of our minds’ weaknesses? I’ll also answer that question in this article.

We’ve all seen a magician at some point in our lives. Magicians begin by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities, and boundaries in people’s perceptions in order to influence what they do without people recognizing it. You can play people’s buttons like a piano once you know how to push their buttons. And exactly this is what product designers do to your head. In the race for your attention, they use your psychological vulnerabilities (consciously and unconsciously) against you.

Here I show you how your mind is being hijacked by technology? or how you have been trapped in the technology’s web:

Hijack Number 1: Menus and Choices

Individual Choices and Freedom are included in the Western Culture, Millions of people strongly defend their rights in order to make free choices, ignoring those choices that are forcefully accepted by us. This is exactly what magicians are capable of. They create the impression of freedom of choice while designing the menu so that they win regardless of what they choose.

When people are given a menu of choices, they ask:

  • “what’s not on the menu?”
  • “Why are these the only choices available to me?”

Consider the following scenario: you’re out with friends on a Tuesday night and want to continue the conversation. You go to Google to look for recommendations in your area and see a list of bars. The gathering finds its way into a cluster of faces comparing bars on their phones. They examine each other’s images, comparing cocktails. Is this menu still relevant to the group’s original desire?

It’s Google that changed the group’s initial question “Where can we go to keep talking?” to “Which bar has good cocktails and drinks?”

They basically forgot all the scenes available to them at the present moment, all the scenes like parks across the street where musicians are sitting and the crowd is listening to them. They missed how coffee is being served in the gallery nearby. None of these options were present at Google.

To summarise, the more options our phone provides us when looking for technology, dating sites, restaurants, and places to live, the better. The more we believe that smartphone technology empowers us and provides us with a very handy menu to choose from.

Another example is turning our phone over in the morning to see a list of alerts, which frames the experience of “getting up in the morning” around a menu of “all the things I’ve missed since yesterday.” And this is how your mind is being hijacked by technology.

Hijack Number 2: Slot Machines

Let’s assume you’re an app. How do you keep your users interested in what you have to say? Turn yourself into a Slot Machine, is the simple answer.
All tech designers need to do to increase addictiveness is link a user’s activity (such as pulling a lever) with a changing reward. You pull a lever and either get an attractive reward (a match, a prize!) or nothing at all.

Does this effect have any effect on people? Yes. In the United States, slot machines generate more revenue than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined. Slot machines cause people to get ‘problematically involved’ 3–4 times faster than other types of betting, according to NYU professor Natasha Dow Schull, author of Addiction by Design.

Almost everyone has slot machine in his pocket:

We’re playing a slot machine when we take our phone out of our pocket to see what notifications we’ve received. When we pull to refresh our email, we’re essentially playing a slot machine to see what new emails we’ve received.
We’re playing a slot machine when we swipe down our fingers to navigate through the Instagram feed to see what photo will appear next.

And this is how they get profit in their daily life earnings and this is how your mind is being hijacked by technology.

Hijack Number 3: Fear of Missing Something Important

Another way applications and websites manipulate people’s brains are to create a “1% chance you’re missing something important”. If I can convince you that I’m a gateway for vital information, messages, friendships, or prospective sexual chances, you’ll find it difficult to turn me off, unsubscribe, or delete your account because I have something you don’t want to lose.

  • This keeps us signing up for newsletters even if we haven’t received any recent advantages.
  • This keeps us “friended” with people we haven’t spoken to in years.
  • This keeps us using Social Media and this is exactly how our mind is being hijacked by technology

But if we go further into that anxiety, we’ll see that it’s boundless: if we quit utilizing something, we’ll always miss something important.

  • There are certain magical moments on Facebook that we will miss if we don’t use it for the next six hours (for example, an old friend who is currently visiting town).
  • We’ll miss out on some magical Tinder experiences (like meeting our ideal romantic partner) if we don’t wipe our 700th match.
  • There are some emergency phone calls that we will miss if we are not connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hijack Number 4: Instant Interruption vs. “Respectful” Delivery

Moving on to how our mind is being hijacked by technology, I’ll explain the difference between “Respectful” and “Instant Interruption” delivery. Companies understand that messages that interrupt people instantly are more convincing than messages sent later in terms of getting people to respond (like email or any deferred inbox).

If given the option, Facebook Messenger (or WhatsApp, WeChat, or Snapchat, for that matter) would design their messaging system to quickly interrupt recipients (and display a conversation window) rather than helping users in respecting one other’s attention.

In other words, the interruption can make your Business grow.

It’s also in their best interests to create a sense of urgency and social reciprocity. Instead of letting you avoid reporting whether you read a message, Facebook automatically tells the sender when you “see” it (“since that you know I’ve seen the message, I feel even more pressured to react.”)

Apple, on the other hand, allows customers to toggle “Read Receipts” on or off with more respect. 

The problem is that, for the sake of business, maximizing interruptions result in a tragedy of the commons, destroying global attention spans and producing billions of unneeded disruptions every day. This is a very huge problem and this is how your mind is being hijacked by technology.

so this is How Your Mind is Being Hijacked by Technology?


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