5 Ways Social Media Giants Are Brain Hacking Humans

By Kachi Ojieh Monday, August 21, 2017
Featured image source: (c) Peter Cade

Few ideas came to my mind today and i decided to write about social media giants and brain hacking, wow what a topic.

We can all play on the same level ground if we all truly know what brain hacking means.

What is Brain Hacking?


Brain hacking can be defined as an invented design technique/dark pattern (in form of computer programming) embedded on smartphones, mobile apps, social media platforms, etc which have the ability to hijack people’s mind by keeping them addicted, glued and hooked to their devices.

My definition might not be top-notch but please bear with me.

You just can’t stop checking to see if you have new notifications, your eyes are always fixed to the device screen. You are walking on the street and at the same time chatting with a friend or watching a video – just put the device away for God’s sake and be human for once.

Here are five ways social media have been brain hacking humans.

#1.it’s so easy to sign up BUT they won’t let you off the hook so easily



Why is it so easy to open a social media account? Facebook, Twitter etc. have you ever tried to delete your Facebook Account? Was it easy? Ok, I know you will never want to delete your social media accounts knowing fully well you have worked so hard to make new friends, gain thousands of likes on that stunning picture or written a life changing posts people can’t do without etc.

Facebook makes it harder to find “delete account” button than they did for “create account”. Anyways, if you intend getting to delete account button, just take a glass of water because your patience will be tested. First, click the small downward arrow at the top right corner to reveal a menu. From the dropdown menu, click Settings, go to Manage account and click Deactivate your account link at the page bottom. If you carefully observe the page you are right now, you will see “deactivate” button not “delete”.

What were you thinking? That they would let you off the hook so easily, you better think twice.

#2.You don’t pay money to use the basic functionalities BUT sure you are going to pay with your time and that’s money



You might argue it BUT you just don’t know that you are paying with your time, and there is a saying “Time is money”. Come to think of it, those five minutes you just spent scrolling through people’s pictures on your feed could have made you richer if you invested it in something worthwhile.

Permit me to borrow words from Tristan Harris, former Google product manager, in an interview with CBS News which aired on April 9, 2017. He said “Technology is not neutral. They want you to use it in particular ways and for long periods of time. Because that’s how they make their money.”

Your time is their money and that’s why they won’t let you off the hook so easily.

Also, Ramsay Brown, co-founder of Dopamine Labs, said “You don’t pay for Facebook. Advertisers pay for Facebook. You get to use it for free because your eyeballs are what’s being sold there.”

If you are addicted to social media, don’t you think it’s time to put an end to it? Or not – my bad (*smiles).

#3.They keep track of every moment of your activities on their sites and apps


Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Social media platforms will go any length to keep track of users’ activities on their sites and apps. They would collect information about people and how they relate with others, their demographics, habits, news feeds, notifications, and posts. They use this information to sell products and develop techniques to keep users hooked to their devices. For example, twitter has an algorithm designed to keep track of the kind of accounts you view and used them in making suggestions to you. Facebook is not exempted from this as they also track your activities.

#4.Videos are generally set to Autoplay whether you feel like watching it or not


The annoying thing about videos which are set to autoplay is people don’t want it but hey! You spend too much time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat that’s why you will keep seeing them.

The motive behind why social media giants will force autoplay videos on you when scrolling past your feed is because of the money they will make and your undivided attention as you may spend more hours on their platform than expected.

In a nutshell, Autoplay videos hijacks your thought process and distracts you from your purpose of visit at that particular time – which is not fair. It’s all about getting you hooked and addicted to their apps.

#5.There is always a reward system around the corner just to trick users into spending more time


Social media rewards may not come as physical cash but there is always a system that will push users to keep visiting and spending more time on their sites and apps. These rewards come in form of celebrating users who spent more time online in a month, most active user in a section, most rated user and so many other dark patterns invented to steal people's time and minds.

What do you think about brain hacking? over to you.

Featured image source: (c) Peter Cade

Few ideas came to my mind today and i decided to write about social media giants and brain hacking, wow what a topic.

We can all play on the same level ground if we all truly know what brain hacking means.

What is Brain Hacking?


Brain hacking can be defined as an invented design technique/dark pattern (in form of computer programming) embedded on smartphones, mobile apps, social media platforms, etc which have the ability to hijack people’s mind by keeping them addicted, glued and hooked to their devices.

My definition might not be top-notch but please bear with me.

You just can’t stop checking to see if you have new notifications, your eyes are always fixed to the device screen. You are walking on the street and at the same time chatting with a friend or watching a video – just put the device away for God’s sake and be human for once.

Here are five ways social media have been brain hacking humans.

#1.it’s so easy to sign up BUT they won’t let you off the hook so easily



Why is it so easy to open a social media account? Facebook, Twitter etc. have you ever tried to delete your Facebook Account? Was it easy? Ok, I know you will never want to delete your social media accounts knowing fully well you have worked so hard to make new friends, gain thousands of likes on that stunning picture or written a life changing posts people can’t do without etc.

Facebook makes it harder to find “delete account” button than they did for “create account”. Anyways, if you intend getting to delete account button, just take a glass of water because your patience will be tested. First, click the small downward arrow at the top right corner to reveal a menu. From the dropdown menu, click Settings, go to Manage account and click Deactivate your account link at the page bottom. If you carefully observe the page you are right now, you will see “deactivate” button not “delete”.

What were you thinking? That they would let you off the hook so easily, you better think twice.

#2.You don’t pay money to use the basic functionalities BUT sure you are going to pay with your time and that’s money



You might argue it BUT you just don’t know that you are paying with your time, and there is a saying “Time is money”. Come to think of it, those five minutes you just spent scrolling through people’s pictures on your feed could have made you richer if you invested it in something worthwhile.

Permit me to borrow words from Tristan Harris, former Google product manager, in an interview with CBS News which aired on April 9, 2017. He said “Technology is not neutral. They want you to use it in particular ways and for long periods of time. Because that’s how they make their money.”

Your time is their money and that’s why they won’t let you off the hook so easily.

Also, Ramsay Brown, co-founder of Dopamine Labs, said “You don’t pay for Facebook. Advertisers pay for Facebook. You get to use it for free because your eyeballs are what’s being sold there.”

If you are addicted to social media, don’t you think it’s time to put an end to it? Or not – my bad (*smiles).

#3.They keep track of every moment of your activities on their sites and apps


Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Social media platforms will go any length to keep track of users’ activities on their sites and apps. They would collect information about people and how they relate with others, their demographics, habits, news feeds, notifications, and posts. They use this information to sell products and develop techniques to keep users hooked to their devices. For example, twitter has an algorithm designed to keep track of the kind of accounts you view and used them in making suggestions to you. Facebook is not exempted from this as they also track your activities.

#4.Videos are generally set to Autoplay whether you feel like watching it or not


The annoying thing about videos which are set to autoplay is people don’t want it but hey! You spend too much time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat that’s why you will keep seeing them.

The motive behind why social media giants will force autoplay videos on you when scrolling past your feed is because of the money they will make and your undivided attention as you may spend more hours on their platform than expected.

In a nutshell, Autoplay videos hijacks your thought process and distracts you from your purpose of visit at that particular time – which is not fair. It’s all about getting you hooked and addicted to their apps.

#5.There is always a reward system around the corner just to trick users into spending more time


Social media rewards may not come as physical cash but there is always a system that will push users to keep visiting and spending more time on their sites and apps. These rewards come in form of celebrating users who spent more time online in a month, most active user in a section, most rated user and so many other dark patterns invented to steal people's time and minds.

What do you think about brain hacking? over to you.

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Kachi Ojieh
Kachi Ojieh

"Tech Is Before Anything Else since 2017". Kachi Ojieh is the CEO and Founder of Tech Is Bae. An enthusiastic blogger with the heart to unify all tech lovers across the globe. Currently working to make sure readers keep coming back for more.

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