Halieus Media just posted regarding Facebook’s attempt to clean up it’s act. jn14 admits that article was sarcasm however; one wonders how Facebook will maintain the “dopamineposted regarding Facebook’s attempt to clean up it’s act hit” which it has developed and relies upon for user retention. What the heck are we talking about?
Mashable wrote an article today titled, “Clean out your Facebook friends — and don’t feel bad about it.” They used the example of a user who has 3,000 friended accounts wanting to cut that to 500 of their very best friends. The rest of the article goes on to give friendly permission to make and implement that decision, how it is good for you and you will feel something like the satisfaction of cleaning out your closet, Really?
jn14 has one of those bi-fold door closets slated to become a pantry for six months. Various issues had to be resolved; delays due to a particular shelf to be repurposed for that pantry, financial considerations regarding buying another shelf, you get the idea. Eventually all the obstacles were overcome, the pantry is a material fact. jn14 admits to sitting back and admiring the mostly empty pantry. Satisfied – yes…for a day. Now the practical reality of cleaning it, maintaining it and whatever come into play. So, cleaning out those accounts; maybe not the big hit Mashable thinks it will be.
Facebook’s dopamine hit(s). The Guardian published an article laying out the case titled, “Has dopamine got us hooked on tech?” The article is science-y but breaks the dopamine deal down to a readable article. The image is taken from that article.
The premise is; every like, share, and comment(even the nasty trolls) provides a little chemical hit of dopamine, the feel good, sense of belonging brain chemical. Facebook relies on this phenomena to retain users. However, users most likely only interact with 1% or 30 of those 3,000 accounts – so reducing to 500 is not going to get the job done.
Case in point; the notifier on jn14 phone went off during this article for two email accounts, one livestream event, Quora, and Samsung fitness nag to get moving. Was the dopamine level in jn14 brain activated with pleasure at so much potential interaction? Nope. Irritation was the response; trying to make a point here, don’t interrupt my train of thought.
The dirty little secret is dopamine, the naturally occurring brain chemical, is vital to human survival and can be described as addictive. How so? Every time humans succeed in getting their needs met, the brain sends a chemical response into memory that says “mark that”. Memory stores the processes involved for later retrieval. When the same conditions or even similar conditions arise again, the brain searches for potential solutions in memory. The more successes in the same or similar conditions, the more the brain reinforces the memory and associated processes. Pavlov’s dog, Ring the bell, dog gets food. Ring the bell, dog salivates, dog gets food; over and over again.
The question still remains…How will Facebook maintain the level of dopamine it relies on to retain users?
This author can speculate there will be more nonsense games like Farm-whatever and that will work on some. Maybe more personality quizzes, again limited appeal. Probably new ways to interconnect most frequent interactions and derive further datamining or predictive behavior data.What will not happen is more freedom, less intrusive datamining and enhanced privacy for you and those 30 people you actually interact with on a regular basis, from which you get that dopamine hit.
This secondary article is not inspired so much on the Mashable article or Halieus Media’s previous post this morning but on the fascinating comments of a former high-level Facebook executive viewed last night.
Give his comments a careful listen while jn14 takes the Shepherd out on a nice day to learn dog carting and to get some really useful dopamine hits for both of us.
- Clean out your Facebook friends — and don’t feel bad about it – Mashable
- Has dopamine got us hooked on tech? – The Guardian
- Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and CEO Social Capital, on Money as an Instrument of Change – Stanford Graduate School of Business