“Brain Hacking” what exactly does this mean? And how did we get here? During CBS’s “60 Minutes” a few weeks ago, Anderson Cooper explored the idea that engineers are hired to program and build apps that make their users want to use them more and more. He interviews Tristan Harris, a former Google product manager, who is speaking out about the damaging effects that this type of programming can have on its users – especially teenagers and children. Tristan goes on to give an example of this type of programming citing the popular social platform Snapchat and the introduction of Snapstreaks. Social engagers create streaks with their friends and then fall prey to the social anxieties of keeping those streaks alive and current. Meanwhile, Snapchat creates a big win by keeping their social users engaged and creating the constant need for the back-and-forth messaging. As these social platforms get more popular and users get more addicted we wonder what does this do to our health? Experts say that this addiction increases our stress levels and releases the stress hormone Cortisol which can have many harmful effects on our health and our bodies. Do you need a break from all of this? Is your phone wasting your time and stressing you out? And, is there a way to reverse the obsession?
See the whole video segment here: WATCH 60 Minutes “Brain Hacking”
Here’s Tristan Harris’ 5 ways to unhijack your brain:
- Allow notifications from people only
- Set up custom notifications for special people only
- Put only tools on your home screen
- Scramble your apps regularly
- Move everything else into a folder on the second screen
For marketers this should be very disconcerting to hear. As the news gets out and people get fed up, it’s important that we watch the trends and respond accordingly. Brands that advertise on social media channels need to be aware of the growing concerns. There is a need for Brands to be authentic and considerate with their messaging and to provide users with thoughtful content that doesn’t waste their time. By doing so we can create a win/win for both parties involved.