"…the Internet is basically the equivalent of electronic telepathy. We can now communicate all the time through our little magic smartphones with people who are anywhere, all the time, constantly learning what they're thinking, talking about, exchanging messages. Of course, this magic works both ways." — Edward Snowden
Everything we do online generates data.
Every interaction, every A or B choice, every preference is recorded by our devices and data harvested by the corporate giants of the Silicon Valley.
This data was initially used to hone smart curation algorithms. Keep the users onsite for as long as possible, capture and captivate their attention.
Usage data grew exponentially. Machine learning developed to crunch and parse the big data through psychometrics pattern-matching.
The 'attention economy' was born.
Today, user profiling is so accurate and individuated, social media platforms know what keeps your attention better than you do.
Social media algorithms evolved into unparelleled microtarget advertising and global marketing spend shifted online, hundreds of billions a year pouring into big tech corporations.
Attention x Mental Passivity x Emotional Hook
Addiction is the secret heart of consumer economics. It maximizes the consumer's attention.
Informed by big data. Perfected by machine learning. Delivered by algorithm.
The most effective formula for addiction Receptiveness is confirmation bias and outrage.
Confirmation bias engages attention without disrupting passivity of mind.
Outrage is the simplest emotional hook, compatible with confirmation bias and universal engagement.
Addiction - or compelled attention - is woven into everyone's online experience.
But here's the bigger problem…
Addiction by algorithm is as effective at selling ideology as it is selling consumer advertising.