Former Facebook President Sean Parker told Axios on Wednesday that he's become a "conscientious objector" on social media.
He later added that the size and scope of Facebook's audience 'literally changes your relationship with society, ' noting the now 2 billion users on the social network.
"It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains", he said.
Confirming what you basically know, but probably don't want to think about too closely, Parker explained just how he and the other early Facebookers built the platform to "consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible".
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A like or a comment on a post sends users "a little dopamine hit", he said, encouraging them to post again.
"So the default for seeing content on Facebook is not that we see it in any kind of of timeline, we don't see it as the most recent post, it gives you more content that you scroll through that then allows it to target more advertising at you", he told the ABC's PM program.
"It's a social-validation feedback loop", Parker said.
He said: "When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, 'I'm not on social media'".
Parker, speaking at an Axios event, pulled back the curtain on Facebook's early days, saying it was created to consume people. Now he's the founder and chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.
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Facebook didn't respond to a request for comment on Parker's remarks. "I value presence. I value intimacy.' And I would say...'We'll get you eventually'".
With each like and comment, Facebook is "exploiting" human psychology on goal to keep users hooked on a "social-validation feedback loop", Parker said, adding that it is "exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with". And we did it anyway.
"As Parker left the stage, he joked that Mark Zuckerberg was going to block his Facebook account".
"But it's less about Facebook, less about any one platform, and it's more about understanding what people are doing with these platforms, what kids are doing".
"Social media addiction is thought to affect around 5 percent of young people, with social media being described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol", the study stated.
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