The Scary World of Brain Hacking


Brain hacking is the programming used to get your addicted to feeling like you need to constantly check your phone. 

Whether I am checking email, text or how many likes I received on the first day of school pictures I posted, there is a feeling of anxiety. What did I miss? How many likes did I get? What is my next appointment? It’s a swirl of emotions and go, go, go. I feel like my day to day actions now revolve around the habit of checking my phone constantly.

About a year ago, I noticed my otherwise uninterested in her phone pre-teen suddenly become obsessed. We have a lot of restrictions on her phone but Snapchat is hard to monitor. I asked her what was so interesting on her phone as we sat down together and she explained “streaks” to me. It shows the number of days in a row that friends send messages back and forth. They become so obsessed with keeping the streak that her friends were giving each other their login information when they would go away to keep the streak going. What is “brain hacking”? Tech insiders on why you should care What is this madness? It was innocent enough but the obsession had taken a young lady from not really caring about her phone, to checking constantly. 

Besides creating gamification to get us hooked, data companies are also collecting information on how we use our phones. Based on our usage, we see more ads relevant to our searches. Although we are using social media for free, advertisers are paying a large amounts to make sure their ads are reaching the right market. For example, Facebook takes our data to keep giving us the news, shopping, real estate listing, etc. that we long for. This creates a constant black hole we fall into as we click an ad that comes into our feed. How Silicon Valley is erasing your individuality

I know how easily I fall into a google fox den when I need information. One search leads me to watching YouTube videos, searching Pinterest boards and posting on Facebook for advice. It turns from a few minutes to hours of scrolling. This has me thinking, was it my choice to keep clicking or did each action lead to another action because of what pops up? Was the next search my great idea or a programmer’s design to lead me to the next page? Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia


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