09. Gamification


We have to give you a little dopamine kick every now and then, so to speak, because someone has liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. […] That’s a feedback loop for social recognition […] exactly what a hacker like me would come up with, because you’re exploiting the vulnerability of the human psyche.

Sean Parker, former founding president of Facebook

AE also aims for an intense flow experience to engage the user through play. As in a game, there are also “game mechanics” in social media, such as ranking (“Like” button) and immediate feedback (real-time notifications), rules and rewards. In addition, there is an appealing and easy-to-use interface, as well as permanent monitoring of user behaviour.

DThe connection between intense flow experience, dopamine release and addiction in gambling is well known. Many experts say that social media is addictive and compare it to gambling addiction because similar dopamine mechanisms take effect in the brain.


Sean Parker – Facebook Exploits Human Vulnerability (We Are Dopamine Addicts) (Video)

Jaron Lanier interview on how social media ruins your life (Video)

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