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Social Media Mayhem & the Internet Infection - Part 3

Christian Berdahl


The five-part seminar starts with a deep look at the dangers and benefits of the Christian life. Then dives deeper into the latest scientific findings on the impact of social media on the family and society. The Internet is here to stay and in many ways is a great tool. Learn how to discern and evaluate its use properly so it is a blessing in our life and not a curse.


Christian Berdahl

Founder of Shepherd's Call music ministry




  • June 20, 2018
    10:45 AM
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So let's start with a quick review yesterday we discovered that the Internet and many apps are addicting and they're finding that there is an addiction problem with these apps and with the Internet and the devices that we have overall we learned that doctors and scientists recommend we take time away from the phone the computer and other digital devices by implementing a text free time every day for a minimum of 2 hours more than that or longer than that and more frequently than just once a day or longer period of time they've shown have even greater benefits it's a good time to just let your mind reset and of course engage in work or whatever you have to or take a walk read a book do something other than something dealing with tech we've learned yesterday that technology is literally physiologically rewiring our brain and in a way that is not productive and they're finding that it's actually quite counterproductive we're starting to get involved in this this tendency over arching tendency to want instant gratification all the time with everything even when Like we said yesterday when you send a text and they don't reply to you right away you're starting to get anxious cortisol gets released why haven't they answered my text yet. So we're training our children up in a society where it's instant gratification and the reality is as a Christian as a human being just in general instant gratification has usually only brought on problems it's when we're methodical we plan things out we save for that vacation or or for that mission trip whatever it may be when we deny self it's actually far more productive The problem is we're training up not only the older generation but especially the digital natives we're training them up in instant gratification We've also found that the overuse of the Internet by teenagers is causing atrophy of the great matter of the brain it's actually causing shrinkage in the brain which leads to concentration and memory problems now don't be fooled into thinking that we're not having the same problem with adult brains because we are but why do I keep bringing up the youth because friend the youths brains are still developing especially when they're young and from they say from the time of from 2 to 3 years old all the way to 17 or 19 for males the brain is still developing so when the brain is that tender in the developmental stage this is when it's most susceptible but it doesn't mean that we are not susceptible indeed we are we share the same brain same type of brain. There is a loss of communication between the higher brain and the base brain we saw that yesterday as well unfortunately many of these tricks and things that they use to hack our brains are there to merely manipulate us and unfortunately the way that the Internet works and the way that these apps work eventually there's that rewiring again in fact communication between the executive branch of the brain the frontal Morillo and the other provinces of the brain is hindered in fact sometimes even say it's gone it's it's it's toast so the challenge we have is if we're not able to keep the lower passions the other provinces of the brain in check by a frontal moral lobe and that connection is being hampered the more we engage in this digital world in excess the more challenges we're going to have eventually sociologists are afraid that this next generation may not even have a moral compass why because the connectivity to the moral compass is being hindered right now that's that's devastating information we also learned that Internet addiction disorder or I.A.D. and there are various other forms of this disorder different names for it ruins lives by causing neurological complications psychological disturbances and social problems so we looked at yesterday also that we're having not just these physiological complications and neurological complications but now we're seeing and we have seen for about the past 1015 years we've seen sociological problems young people old people whatever age especially young people are having problems learning how to communicate one with another the face to face communion is going to become a thing of the past if we're not careful. And so this is why it's important to implement those no tech times get off of it you know my mother does something that works very well because we would be sitting at things giving dinner and my niece and nephew are texting each other who are sitting right next to each other I finally caught on I went Wait a minute because Also now I see her going like this and also. That hers are his her are you texting him and she's like yeah I said that's it and my mom grabbed the basket and everybody put their phones in the basket because frankly everybody that we needed to know if it if there was an emergency or anything like that they were already in the house right so we put the phones we turned them off and you know what it was frustrating for a lot of the family for the 1st $25.00 minutes but then after that it's almost like you go home man you know what I'm just free to enjoy my family and so that tech free time is really powerful We also learned that the statistics and problems apply not only to the youth but to all people all on line with these devices so when I say young people or students or children it also means us because we're all children of God and we all share like I said the same brain Well not the same brain but the same type of brain so today we're going to continue the Internet infection part 3 we're going to dive into the brain hacking side of things I have a whole lot more planned but honestly I don't think we're going to get through all the material my wife and I thought for sure we have about 67 hours worth of material No we have probably like 10 or 12 so we're editing as we're going through every day what do I say what do I not say and Lord please give me wisdom now. If we have time we'll get into a little bit of the gaming today as well if not we'll pick it up tomorrow so we're going to talk about brain hacking or what's called addiction coding in the industry so it didn't start off by hey let's bring code let's let's do some brain hacking on our users but it has evolved into frankly a studied art form of how to get people to take action and there's a lot of psychology involved and neuroscience involved as you will see so I'd like to introduce you to Tristan Harris now he has been interviewed by every major network around the world different reporters because he came out of Google himself in fact he actually started a company he was C.E.O. of and Google bought that company and that company was largely involved in learning how to create these apps that can actually keep you linked into it and stay on the app and so Google said hey we want your company so they bought the company and he continued to work there for a number of years in he has an interesting title by the way he's been called the conscience of Silicone Valley why. Because he quit working for Google when he saw that Cynic can't cynical Silicon Valley by and large including Google is engineering our phones apps and social media to get us hooked he didn't like this he's like now I understand he was involved in all of this from the beginning but he like had his opinion said wait a 2nd we shouldn't be doing this so this is an insider that will be looking at Commentary from multiple interviews one largely was done on 60 Minutes and another Tristen spent just to give you a little bit of idea of his background he spent a decade understanding the invisible influences that hijack human thinking and action drawing on literature from addiction social engineering persuasive design and behavioral economics he is currently developing a framework for at the coal persuasion he calls it especially as it was it relates to the moral responsibility of technology companies so he is one of the few tech insiders to publicly acknowledge that the company's responsible for programming your phones are working hard to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly whatever that may be checking your your Twitter feed checking Instagram checking all these other ones Facebook checking texting people we got to get society where they feel like they have to constantly check in. Does anybody feel that way I do it's like if I don't hear from my son within a certain amount of time or whatever I start to wonder I wonder if he's OK A wonderful is OK you know before if your son was off in a different state you would rarely hear from them in the 1910 less he wrote Take the time to write a letter and it came through by horse and then after that we got the post US Post Office and before you know it you could send a letter and you could have it there pretty much overnight and was beautiful was the phone was a vented so you could reach out and you could talk to them to our loved ones over the phone and now we don't even talk to him over the phone we want instant messages instantly I don't want to take the time to dial the phone it is my boys say it's so inconvenient the phone is inconvenient but that's a new mindset so some programmers call it brain hacking or addiction coding as we have said so along with many others he's concerned that these products are shaping what 2000000000 people think every day I mean that's more power than any government in history if you put it in that framework in that context and think about you have a couple of companies that are really starting to control the thought processes of 2000000000 people they're not controlling my thought processes and you my friend are on informed he continues on I think we have to ask those who I think we have to ask Are those systems of social media are they genuinely looking out for what will make society most well off or because of their business model are they most concerned with what captures people's attention. Come on I think we're all big boys and big girls here we know the reality is they're looking at the bottom line they they want to find out whatever works whatever I can do to capture your attention little tricks little tips little tweaks and how even the app responds which will look at he after he was asked a question so is this something that engineers keep in mind as they're designing the new bells and whistles they're thinking 9 how can I keep people addicted to their phone his response your phone is like a menu and it is always being populated by choices whether it's through notifications or what shows up on the feed and people think that this is neutral friends this is not neutral driving behind all of this is somebody that has philosophical beliefs just like you and me driving all of this as we will see our engineers by the 00s who are trying to figure out how do we push people in certain directions and we'll see that as we keep reading on he says what they miss is there is a 1000 engine ears of the other side of the screen whose job it is to put whatever should be on that menu that will capture your attention and the problem is all these companies have their hands tied why do they have their hands tied they have been tied because they have to do whatever it takes to make it work to get our attention because that's their business model. Because the more time we are on the app the more valuable we are to them and they can sell our eyeballs to advertisers they can show all the analytics and all the system statistics of just how much time user 1234 spends on their app and here's what they're looking at how many ads they see during that time and they codify this information and they're able to take it to their advertisers and say look all of these people are on the set for this amount of time and it resulted in this many clicks and links for people to go buy this product and that product who hey where do I sign I'll give you a check right now and this works now there's nothing wrong with capitalism that's great but friends I should not be manipulated into buying your product and we'll see that's what happens in a 60 Minutes interview Anderson Cooper asked Harris if he thought parents understood the complexities of what their kids are dealing with and I don't think we do when it comes to their phones apps and social media Harris responded remember he's an insider he sees what's going on no you think parents understand No And I think this is really important because there is a narrative that quote Oh I guess they're just doing like you know this like we used to gossip on the phone so what's the difference if they're texting or if there's an app chatting or Instagram ing whatever they may be doing what's the difference between that and just good old fashioned gossip on the phone or in a letter Have you ever actually thought about that have you ever even heard this argument there's some to say come on it's just like us gossiping back in the day on the phone Well here's a different perspective. And he and Harris continues on but what this misses is that our your telephone in the 1970 S. didn't have a 1000 Indian years on the other side of it who were redesigning it every day to work with other telephones and then updating the way your telephone worked every day to become more and more persuasive the phone was the phone right when you picked up the phone after you learned the 1st time how to use it you could use the phone for the rest of your life well until after the rotary ones and you had to figure out how to push the buttons right and then of course the way that we had privacy back then was that we had a 25 foot cord that would stretch from the kitchen all the way into the family room to have a little privacy right now I'm dating myself so holding up his phone he further explained this thing is a slot machine every time I check my phone I'm playing the slot machine to see what did I get this is one way to hijack people's minds and to create a habit to form a habit you see when we went to pick up the phone there was nothing there to hijack our mind it was just a phone nobody ever picked up the phone and got really major satisfaction by just pushing those buttons but friend the way the apps are created today just the way we pushed and tapped the screen becomes a psychological excitement and we'll see that as we push as we move on so you cannot compare the 2 technologies our modern day smartphones frankly our modern day computers are nothing more than that their high powered highly integrated computers that happens to have a phone. That's what it is in fact last night my wife and I looked on here and we tried to hunt for something some setting on the phone that would have been an easy setting to just turn everything off but the phone and case somebody need to get ahold of me I couldn't find it I'm not saying it's not there I just couldn't find it and I'm kind of tech savvy but I could turn everything else off the cellular data I can turn off the wife I the bluetooth I can turn up all these other things but I couldn't just keep the phone on because soon as you turn off your cell or service the data files and bye bye anyway I was trying to say could this thing just be a phone once again it's not designed to be just a phone even though lots of data is carried over the cellular network so every time we open this up even on a smartphone every time we open it and we put in that that fingerprint or put in your code you're going to get these notifications that start to populate your screens and you start to say well what is all this and even the whole scrolling thing we'll see in just a little bit is designed continuing on he says what you do is you make it so when someone pulls a lever sometimes they get over ward and exciting reward and it turns out that this design technique can be embedded inside of all of these products so another is talking about it being a slot machine you know that there's actually built in algorithms and spot machines to where they don't just pay you all the time sometimes they hold it back for this many times all the give you a little bit here a little bit there before you know it the give you more and then they take it away it's the every time you pull that there's an end to suppression did it it was going to be Turn Turn Turn Turn nothing but it there's more nothings than some things by the way so the reward Harris is talking about. They are the big part of what makes smartphones so appealing because when you open it what are you going to again mean you can even change your background so when you open it it's different every single time as not just because they're being nice and saying hey look at a different picture it's all part of this process the chance of getting likes on Facebook and Instagram cute emote G.'s in text messages and new followers on Twitter Twitter as just an example all of these things keep us coming back keep coming back and get having what they call screen time and screen time is billable screen time is sellable you see there's a pretty strong statement that floats around Silicon Valley and that is that we users are the product when ever you get a free app you can almost certainly guarantee that you are the product somehow someway Well how is that true well they can sell your time face but how much did Facebook cost you how much did Instagram cost you or Twitter how in the world can they have engineers that total in the 00s that are developing all these that how does everybody get paid nobody's paying for the app it's through selling our screen time in ads pop up all these things and you know what it's like if you don't want to see all those ads well then you're going to pay for the app am I right right money makes the world go around so they say in the business world so he continues on there's a whole playbook of techniques that get used to get you using the product for as long as possible for example he said Snap Chat the most popular messaging service for teenagers and they invented this feed this feature called streaks. Which shows the number of days in a row that you've sent a message back and forth with somebody now anybody that's probably under 20 years old for sure knows what streaks are if you're 203040 years like I don't know what a streak is you might have a different idea of what streaking means but not not compared to what it is in the tech world so now you could say well what's that big What's the big deal of all of that I don't understand what's the big deal or the problem is that kids feel like well I don't want to lose my streak we're still quoting Harris by the way now when they go on vacation there's so stressed out about their streak that they will actually give their passwords to like 5 other kids to keep their streak going on their behalf this is how addicting it is so what you do in fact we had this happen in our own home in all transparency and confession we had a family camping trip planned now in our family we all like camping we love being out in nature and so when we go out there in that nature and we can start to embrace and love and my children have their whole life once they started getting a little more tech savvy a little bit later into their teen years we didn't let our kids even have phones until they were in there I think 17 and 16 or something like that well that's crazy I know it's not actually it's called careful parenting but what we did My kids didn't even know that there wouldn't even be such a thing as no cell signal everywhere on the planet how did they not know that well because they had never owned them before and so eventually as my boys got older we were going to go out and head out on a camping trip and we noticed as we were getting closer to the date of departure that one of our boys was getting stressed out he was worried about whether or not we would have any phone signal out in the wood. So we talked about it we told him very confidently Oh most definitely there will not be any cell signal out in the woods because that's part of the blessing now in his mind it was not a blessing at that moment he melted down he did not want to go he didn't want to go to his favorite thing to do as a family we would go out there we'd fish together catch and release enjoy the we go explore in the in the rivers we go climb trees we go climb mountains weed all the stuff and whenever my boy was out there with me in that wilderness that was the happiest kid I knew and now he doesn't want to go to do the happiest thing he wants to do what's going on here friend his thinking had been hijacked. It had been hijacked he did not want to lose that streak they had been they had this street for a couple 100 days that they every single day the communicated every single day they communicated even this one hey hey what's up bam that day is done taking care of but every day you would set alarms to make sure that he would he would do and continue that streak yet he would forget to do is homework right or be late to work sometimes oh he was never off with that streak I mean after all you know it's it's so highly important in this life to have meaningless conversation with somebody over a long period time but what's sad is that became so important to him that he would rather not go and he would rather miss out on camping just to do a little text every day and we do said oh that's not an option buddy you're going and you're going to have a good time whether you like it or not. So he gave his phone and his passwords and stuff he gave it to one of his friends and made his friend I mean like almost like a blood oath you know you've got a promise me you'll do this every day I've set alarms he made all these provisions to keep this little silly Dick did a streak going these types of brain hacks are found everywhere the so simple but they're hugely effective and this is called Game of the cation by the way and it's the process of adding games or game like elements to something such as a task to encourage participation So in other words the what happens is it becomes a competition Well how many days how many days you have on your street you've got 100 I've got 120 and I've got a little you know what they when they learn when the trophies that they can prove they've been doing it for 100 days because nap chat issues all these little emoji isn't trophies and you can put him in a trophy case yeah you win the boogy up up up up up up up. And I'm not trying to belittle people involved in streaks on snap chat but what I'm saying is you're being manipulated to do this so you're on there so they can sell your eyeball it encourages competition and therefore we want to win and all this we get to win this amazing snap chat trophy that's what you win I can't see it but you can There you go that's what you win in fact you actually you earn different ones based on different things that they have you do they'll have you take X. amount of front camera selfies they'll have in the oh you win this for doing that they're creating all of these ways to keep you on it. And it's a game and it's fun and then you go whoa where did those 3 hours go so I don't think we're just talking about a few days here the current official world record for the longest snap chat streak is 798 days that can be officially by snap chat and all the analytics they can say this is the longest one right now there's other ones because guess what people do now they're hacking in to get all these M O G So they can brag for something they didn't even do I don't understand a little emoji that's what we get while Silicon Valley makes billions of dollars off of our wasted largely wasted time here's continues so you could ask when these features are being designed are they designed to help people live their life or are they being designed because they're best at hooking people into using the product and then Anderson Cooper asked Harris on an interview he said is Silicon Valley programming apps or they programming people who question and invert only is his response was that they want to or not they are shaping the thoughts and feelings and actions of people they are programming people so here's an industry insider at the top of the game saying they're programming people that's what the apps are being used to do do you think there could be some sort of conspiracy behind this maybe I'm not a conspiracy theorist well then you're not a Christian if you're a Christian you believe and the largest conspiracy ever Satan is and his rebellion my friend. So I believe with all of my heart the more I research is the more we look into it the more ago we got to talk about that too we got to talk about this too before you know we'll have a we'll have a a college semester to talk about all this I believe without a shadow of a doubt that many of these people are not in it to deceive and destroy people they're in it to do what their boss of the company is asking them to do but I have to believe some of the people at the upper echelons they know exactly what is going on and friends I don't think they're being led many times by the spirit of self-sacrifice you follow what I'm saying I do believe behind this type of thing is the devil as the puppet master I believe is the devil behind the curtain if you will and he's moving things because if he can't get you distracted with T.V. or movies or your job or or music he's going to get you distracted with anything that he can and is going to get is so addicted that if we can't even have our phone and continue a silly little thing we'll even deny ourself healthy amazing wonderful family time out in nature like I gave you that example my son our brains are literally being hijacked continuing on Harris says there's always this narrative that technology is neutral and it's up to us to choose how we use it this is just not true he says so the tech insider at the upper echelons who understands what's going on is saying take this this technology anyway is not neutral it's 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. So he found himself asking a question when is all of this adding up to an actual benefit to my life he asked it personally and he says we need to stop and pause for a moment and say Is this benefiting me anyway in my life because friends if it's addicting and indeed it is we saw that yesterday and we are being manipulated indeed we saw that yesterday and we're seeing more of that today and it's ways copious amounts of time for no real benefit then why are we doing it because everybody is right that's what's going on I mean I have so many requests for Linked In and Facebook and all I can if I just went through and and just yes yes yes yes yes and to accept it all the firm quest it takes me hours but you know Facebook will not allow you just to select all hate Yes you have to go through the process of YES YES YES YES YES YES it's all about keeping you on their stinking apps now do we use them we do do we try to use them for righteousness' sake we do so we can utilize them but we don't want them to use us we have to understand what's going on does that make sense excellent continuing on he says Never before in history have a handful of people at a handful of technology companies shape how a 1000000000 people think and feel every day with the choices they make about these screens there are more users on Facebook than followers of Christianity there are more people on You Tube than followers of Islam and I don't know a more urgent problem than this so we have. Huge vast numbers of people who are engaged in these social media platforms engaged using utilizing these apps on the Web sites playing games surfing doing all this stuff and if you you know as well as I do if you just sit there and start typing things in on a Google search engine you're going to have ads pop up and are you going to go like they read my mind how did they know I needed that did you know you can go on You Tube and watch a video I wish I could remember the guy's name I'll try to find it maybe tell you tomorrow where this young man sat there wanted to test something because he saw a pattern he said you know what I open up my laptop he's videotaping the whole thing he goes so I'm just going to talk to you and normal sentences he's talking to the camera and just talking whatever and I'm going to mention a couple of things that I need you know would be really great if I could find a dog to show my dog and and I really prefer if it would be orange and he just continued talking or whatever and friends before you knew it it started popping up on his screen right there on camera they're listening they're watching There are very powerful super computers that are crunching data and number and analytics insisted 6 to give you everything that your little heart might desire based on your searches based on what you're what you're looking at they know this is this is interesting if all of a sudden you start getting all of these e-mails in as that are dealing with a certain subject you can know it's because you have your info has been hacked and by the way you were already agreed to all of this when you look through their 55 page or 100 page terms and agreement you already said do whatever you want with my information Yeah but if I don't think zip then I can't use it. No. We are willingly turning it all over to them and saying hey do whatever you want with it have you ever thought about this when I was growing up and like I said I'm only 49 but when I was growing up girls especially had these little books called Diaries write and they'd write out all their thoughts and their emotions and then they would paste little things in there put pictures in and little clippings or whatever and they would get very deep sometimes not so deep in oh I think it's so cute or whatever the writing out you know all of their thoughts right and if your brother came ladies and took that diary and started reading it what did you want to do give him a knuckle sandwich right and you'd run off the mom and dad and say he violated my privacy he he read what were my thoughts and we get upset because somebody read it but now we have public diaries that we put out there for people to see everything and guess what we're mad when you don't read it oh gosh is right Lord have mercy see how the change in the thought process has happened do you see that we go from having some privacy to having no privacy and then we're upset if all of a sudden a naked picture gets blown out there about you they've already got everything anyway by the way just don't take the pictures. By the way that's what Snap Chat is largely used for by the way I don't know if you understand how that works but that and Instagram different ones they have basically have a feature where you can snap chat specifically you can snap a photo and as soon as the other person opens and looks at it it deletes it it's gone well from the apps not off the servers that's the lie and then there's data breaches and all sudden your little 30 year old naked girls pictures are all over the Internet oh not mine are you sure we talked about the whole the whole sexual problems we have on the Internet yesterday Harris wrote a one $144.00 page presentation and in this presentation he argued that the constant distractions of apps and e-mails are weakening our relationships to each other and destroying our kids' ability to focus it is widely it was widely read so he arose this this manifesto basically and it was spread around Google where he was working at the time and it was read largely within Google and it actually caught the eye of one of the founders Larry Page but Harris told 60 Minutes it didn't lead to any changes and so after 3 years he quit and here's what he says it's not because anyone is evil or had bad intentions it's because the game is getting attention at all costs because that's the business model so when he was asked what's the path forward how do we get out of this he said what we really need is a new conversation about what do we want all of this technology to be fitting into and if it's going to fit into our lives it has to respect and honor the boundaries of our humanity. You know you don't have to publish everything my friend and frankly some things are better left between you and the Lord it's kind of like and he continues on it's kind of like that's my son calling declined book I just had success Egg Man I think it's kind of like the environmental metaphors in coal he says left to our own devices we'll just extract all of it from the ground and pollute the whole environment until we say hey we need some protections in place and friends this is the type of thinking that we see everywhere we just clumsily bound forward not thinking of the current or future consequences and there are some that are thinkers that are stepping aside and going wait a 2nd we have some problems here we need to start putting some parameters in place perhaps we need to call these tech companies to a higher level and have them stop manipulating our minds even though we are willfully being manipulated but they're tricking us and if anything they should at least have full disclosure he wants to now Harris now travels the country and the world trying to convince programmers and anyone who will listen he's trying to convince that the business model of tech companies needs to change he wants products designed to make the best use of our time not just grab our attention he's worried about a generation that cannot remember a life disconnected that's most of our children they like we talked about yesterday they're the digital natives and we're the digital immigrants so for us sometimes we can see maybe the challenges of the problems but when it's been your life your whole life you don't see the problem sometimes. Now there are others other insiders in the industry who are starting to talk about this too and one of those other tech insiders is Ramsay Brown he's a computer programmer who understands how the brain works and knows how to write code that will get the brain to do certain things Ramsey around studied neuroscience so he's actually educated in the narrow sciences before co-founding dopamine labs a startup company named after the dopamine molecule in our brains that aids in the creation of desire and pleasure Brown and his colleagues write computer code for apps the programs are designed to provoke a neurological response in an interview he was asked you're trying to figure out how to get people coming back to use the screens right Brown responds exactly when should I make you feel a little extra awesome to get you to come back into the app longer you're part of a controlled set of experiments that are happening in real time across you and millions of other people so the computer code he creates actually finds the best moment alluded to this yesterday the best moment that you can receive an award or a reward of some sort which actually have no tangible value but Brown says we can trigger your brain to make you want more for example on instagram he reports sometimes those likes come in a sudden rush. He says they're holding some of them back for you to let you know later in a big burst so I alluded to this yesterday so even the way that they give us our notification and our likes and the thumbs up and their MO G.'s they have algorithms that have learned Christian really spends more time on this app when we give him consistent emoji No You know what Frank over here he really likes it when he gets a burst and he's on their 15 minutes longer than Christian so they are they're analyzing everything we're doing and they're saying we know exactly when to release it because we've figured you out and we haven't even figured ourselves out but these major corporations have he says hey like here's 30 likes we didn't mention from a little while ago by the way he says yeah but why that moment because there's an algorithm that predicted for this user right now who is experimental subjects 79 B. 3 in experiment 231 We think we can see an improvement in his behavior if we give it to him in a burst instead of that kind of burst did you know this was going on I thought I was kind of educated on the subject but the more we keep digging the more I go where intro will. It's total manipulation of the pleasure and reward section of the brain that part of the brain is being hijacked and when Brown says experiments he's talking generally about the millions of computer calculations that are being used every moment by his company and others he's writing the code used to consistently tweak your online experience and make you come back for more they are constantly monitoring everything as I said before Anderson Cooper. He says in this interview he says so we're guinea pigs Ramsay Brown says you're a guinea pigs you are guinea pigs in the box pushing the button and sometimes getting the like and they're doing this to keep you in there so the longer we stay on those screens the more member I talked about like that lab animal that will hit that button to get the drug instead of the food inventor they'll starve themselves to get the drug that's what's happening we keep hitting the button we keep opening the screen we keep hitting the button and the little brain goes oh I like that because everything is designed to give you a little reward it's not like you're not like this you're not going well I'm on this and oh oh I'm getting my fix it's incremental it's miniscule sometimes it is the lady and you can literally have a physiological reaction and an emotional reaction but what it is is that that little time a little tiny bit of juicing little bit is using all the time to where you want that feeling you don't even realize it's this and what's on this that's giving you that feeling we looked into that yesterday so Ramsey says like I mentioned earlier you don't have to pay for Facebook because all the advertisers pay for Facebook he says it's an interesting way Cooper says that's an interesting way to look at it that you're not the customer for for Facebook none of us are their own I think I wrote their own Anderson Cooper said that's an interesting way to look at it that you're not the customer for Facebook that's right because we're the product he says no we're the product the customer is Coca-Cola who writes the check. Brown says there's a reason even for texts and Facebook to use a scroll a continuous scroll because it's a proven way to keep you searching longer so you scroll down scroll down scroll even on your Facebook man you can scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll before you know the look there's the beginning of the world it seems like and it'll show you all of that stuff that's in there and then you happen upon that one thing too it's that whole idea of we're going to pull that lever on that that slot machine what are we going to get today what are we going to get today even our techs who texted me when you spin you spend half your time on Facebook just scrolling to find one good piece worth looking at it's happening because they are engineered to become addictive Cooper Anderson asked him So you're almost saying it's like there's an addiction Code Brown says yeah that is the case that since we figured out to some extent how these pieces of the brain that handle addiction are working people have figured out how to juice them further and how to bake that information into apps and this is a high level tech insider that runs a Fortune 500 company that writes code that he's dispelling the beings so we have to understand the way that these websites and apps are designed they are created to create within us a deep sense a deep seated desire to want to be on them and to return to them. I know people in fact I saw this with my own eyes we my brother and I for Father's Day we went and we had a massage in 2 different rooms massage I told him turn off your phone buddy just don't don't even airplane it because if you have a you have a notification or or a timer set and it'll go off so just turn it off he's like you know what man I'm going to do it and as we were walking out after we were done with this great relaxing unplugged hour he couldn't get his phone on quick enough and as for about the next 15 or 20 minutes of our ride getting back home he was nothing but on this night say something oh yeah well really and he was just at it he was checking everything because he's addicted some of you are realizing that you're probably addicted so what you're going to do we'll talk about the next 2 days here and there we will talk about some of the the things that these tech insiders actually do there are some practical things you can do the challenge is none of them are full proof because somebody is out there to hack everything so we just have to realize that we need to be careful how we as educated people how we proceed throughout our day with these devices do I think these devices are evil No Do I think the people creating these apps are evil No because frankly the ones who are deceived and don't know they're deceived are the greatest agents of saying I think many of them are deceived I think what they have is a faulty model for business so here are specific specific we'll go through just a few specific tactics on top of all the other things we've already talked about we're going to get a little more specific now looking at some of the apps. One of the most popular methods used by absentee lab forms is to keep your attention wasn't actually invented by techies at all it is a psychological tool often employed in casinos called variable ratios schedule I alluded to this earlier the concept refers to when an action is rewarded but at various times the user doesn't know when they will be rewarded just that they will you play long enough you're going to get a reward it might be. A nickel but that's a reward your brain goes who look and then what do you do you put more money back in right so it's all it's been around for a long time the user does not know that they'll be bored they just know that they will they don't know when and in no particular pattern so it's very random what your brain likes to cause that creates an excitement that's what slot machines do each time you pull the lever you may win a small payout or a giant jackpot or no reward at all but you know going in that's that's part of it and then when you swipe your finger down on Twitter for example a spinning wheel indicates that the app is loading more content you don't know what you're getting but you're hoping to see something new and something that interests you sometimes you do sometimes you don't Twitter also employs this technique in other more subtle ways as vices Julian Morgan points Morgans points out each time you open the Twitter app the screen is blue for a moment then the white Twitter bird pulsates and eventually the bird widens to reveal your feed while here's here's thing if you if you're on these apps you know exactly what they're talking about while most people. If they notice this at all may chalk it up to a slow connection or a lot of traffic to the app or an old slow phone but this is not the case this happens every time you open Twitter no matter where you are or how fast your device is that delay those few little seconds where you're not sure what you're going to see is is almost like a drug it is so enticing. And it creates that anticipation whoa what's coming I mean it's got to be loading something good right you don't know what you're going to get but you keep coming back so that little delay is there on purpose it could instantly populate but they know if we let you wait just a little bit longer then you know something good's gotta be coming up and you'll spend more time on the app and fact you might even be rewarded with new tweets Oh here's a brand new tweet or you may see things you already read yesterday they will hold back information from you for you to go that's the same thing as yesterday friends there are so many billions of tweets there's nothing yesterday it was all news but Twitter's holding it back from you when you open it up you go oh yeah I saw that yesterday OK so you're let down a little bit but guess what it creates inside of you next time the surely going to be something that I want to read and we go back to the process Oh man I got 5 new Twitter feeds Wow Look at that look at that look at that look at that do you see how manipulative this is even how we the app loads its information and we keep coming back for more these little tweaks to these applications by professionals are playing with our minds our emotions and our hormones Now Twitter is certainly not alone using this trick absolutely Instagram and Facebook they use it to. This happens every time that you open up Twitter by the way it uses a psychological trick to lure you in the same one used in slot machines let's look at Facebook Facebook uses color to catch users attention Facebook banks on his position as one of the world's most used apps their methods work to the way they're doing it they have figured this out Facebook is nearly always among the top 5 free apps in the App Store and Facebook remains the most used app in the United States it is the absolute most used app why because it has the most users on it 1000000000 a day active users 2000000000 monthly different users their method works the only reason that Facebook has ever not the most downloaded app is when something comes out that is way more shiny for that day that's the only reason something comes out every talks about it so they're always in top 5 but they're never usually one of the top because they're just always there and something else might shine it out for a day or 21 unique method Facebook uses helping you to log in to other apps rather than creating a new username and password for each app you download you can often use your Facebook account to log in so having a Facebook account becomes a convenience picture in recent years Facebook has capitalize on that by becoming a log book for your life it's memories feature keeps track of your daily life over how many years you've had Facebook for many people that can be at least 10 years they've had this. Memories and that memory catalog every single photo it all your posts and all the friendships and then it lurches you. To it each day causing you to open the app to see what you were doing 4 or 8 years ago I mean it's a neat feature but it keeps you coming back it keeps you wanting to see your own life if you will Facebook also tracks keep track of friends birthdays and friends anniversaries friends anniversaries creating custom videos to commemorate how many used years you and another person have been Facebook friends so they're finding Not that there's anything wrong with that but it's on the platform of we're going to do whatever we can to get you back into the app because we want to sell your eyeballs in many ways social Facebook has positioned itself as more than just a social media app it's now a way to keep track of your social life let's look at Instagram for a moment Facebook owns Instagram so it's no surprise that the 2 apps use similar methods to hook us out of every app out there Instagram has got to be one of the most addicting there are several reasons you can get hooked on Instagram the habit forming nature of taking pictures and videos the immediate payoff of pretty filters and the intimacy of building a social network and what it's doing is turning our world into people who are so self-absorbed and self obsessed you cannot even have a deep loving incredible relationship with someone else when you love yourself so much that you can there's no room for anybody else I mean people are posting up to hundreds of times every day you cannot possibly look your best every single day 200 times but you'll work for that photo and everybody's doing this got the video of this puffed up. It started because of some popular celebrities and now everybody's doing it you're not being original you're just following the multitude right. And but this is how it goes but Instagram has its own tactics to keep you engaged if you've enabled push notifications on Instagram you'll likely receive a message about any number of things someone's 1st story on Instagram Well I'd like to see what he said his 1st time that's fun when a Facebook friend has joined the platform hey they kind of came finally came over the river and when one of those people you follow on Instagram is filming live video on the platform you get that notification hey Christians live right now you better go watch him so what it does Friends is it constantly pulls our attention and describes us from what's important in life even including our relationships and our jobs now you can customize and limit these notifications of course but frankly you've got to dig around to find it it's not very easy they don't put it right on the screen because they don't want you to disabling it the simple fact that push notification the obvious the fit simple fact is they work and so like when I'm like I mentioned yesterday when I'm working on something that's important I will set aside my phone and I will turn it off and I will close my email client I will close that because I don't want those notifications popping up I want to focus but when you've allowed push notifications which is basically a notification coming from an app software a website whatever it may be it's giving you notifications you can turn all those off and you can actually just have a much more peaceful life less distracting and I would encourage that by the way at minimum embrace that 2 hour a day of a tech free zone. Interestingly enough according to research from mobile analytics an urban firm called Urban Airship sending out weekly push notifications can double user retention so they know we've got to have user notifications we've got to push out notifications on i OS devices and listen to this how many Android people are here who uses and or is did you know I don't know why but they have a 6 fold increase of retention on Android users when they send out push notifications it's twice as much on the Apple smartphone on i O S But it's 6 times as much on Android I don't know what gives there I haven't looked into it but that's staggering so push notifications are the 1st line of the strategy says Randy Nelson an analyst for app intelligence from sensor tower he told Business Insider he said they address you directly and say hey come back to the app is basically what they're saying it's the most overt thing these apps do and it's an integral part to the process of reengaging the user so one tip is turn off those notifications if you want to just have a more simple life turn off you can always open the app and see what happened the last 5 minutes come on now do you really need to see at Buffy washing her kitty cat you don't who cares. If you want to watch it later when you're not at work or drive in the car then look at it later right the problem with the notification is you have you have the sense of urgency that you have to respond I have been beckoned So now I need to respond No You know but you you would think that we we believe we have to respond is any of this making any sense to anybody. Good because this is this is kind of a crazy subject to see how our brains are being hijacked and how they're creating this addiction code in our devices. Time is going fast I'm only on Slide 33 of 85 I don't think I planned my time very well but there's just too much to to share and honestly I'm going through each day going what do we what do we not do you know it's incredible and the other way that Instagram encourages you to stay on the app is to watch stories and stories at every turn that makes them addicting stories are the 1st thing you see when you open the app their house at the top of the screen but they also periodically show up in the middle of scrolling through your feed like in the image above so what will happen is you'll be scrolling at the beginning is the story so someone has gone through and they've they've made a little video story of multiple videos and you can watch that and then it'll come up if you are their friend or what have you then it'll come up as a feed on yours and it'll notify you at that push notification and then you can sit there and you can watch it sometimes as you're scrolling through to see that very one will show up again they're like repopulate they didn't look at it repopulate they didn't look at it just and it's real time the computers are doing all these analytics real time every day 247 and once you're watching one person's story you'll automatically be shepherded into the next person's story without even leaving the interface unless you manually swipe or or X. out of the stories you could wind up watching them for a very long time just one to the next to the next to the next before you know it lowered my last hour go right Instagram. Instagram since dozens of of push notifications each week and uses stories to track you obviously as we just talked about now Linked In Linked In taps into the concept of social reciprocity another words if you scratch my back I'm going to scratch yours so it what it does is it starts to manipulate our emotions and our thought of being good to someone else because they were good to me so they don't have the same popularity like Snap Chat or Instagram but it does have a huge wide reach and it's always among the top $100.00 free apps in the App Store it's the 6 most popular social networking app on the planet and here's a few subtle ways that Linked In encouraged to spend time in their app but one that stands out is known as a psychological tactic Linked In frequently taps into the concept of social reciprocity which we said the idea that I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine according to Harris the formal Google design at the sis he said for example when someone sends you an invitation to connect directly below the invitation is a list of people that you in turn could connect with Linked In turns your unconscious in polls to add a person into this new social obligation that millions of people feel obligated to reply to repay so if you're nice to me I'm going to feel obligated to feel nice to you and any of us professionals that are on Linked In you know what it's like and in fact when I get I get so many requests it's amazing hundreds and hundreds and hundreds a month. And it'll say hey so and so wants to. Join your Linked In You can read the phraseology and then off and busy I can't go and and click it and say yes you can join in and be a part of my group here know I'm going to wait and then it'll send me another notification email later hey so and so I tried to join your group 5 days ago it's like dude what's wrong with you and so it's doing as it is trying to compel us to action it's trying to move us into decision and action is trying to get us back on that app so they can sell our time on the app Tinder Tinder is. A dating app something similar to bumble or grinder or coffee meets bagel and they've taken a cue from the world of smartphone gaming the app which aims to help couples meet has turned finding companionship into again while dating apps as a category are typically well represented among the top grossing app in the U.S. Tender is the number 3 grossing app in all of the U.S. according to app intelligence firm app Annie it's tenders format swipe left on someone you don't like and swipe right on someone you're interested in that keeps people hooked so the very fact of swiping left or swiping right is what gets those people hooked into tender I would have never perceived that but there's something really fun about swiping left and swiping right apparently much like social media apps tender utilize the variable ratio schedule concept the slot machine tactic to encourage you to keep swiping just in case the next person is your soul mate. So no no yes oh maybe no yes no no no no no no Oh so they will even in their algorithms they will keep back someone that they think might just be your match so you keep searching and then the release a couple of you go hey Well now that's possible and then you keep searching and then there's a dearth for awhile but then you want to get back on there and see as has anybody now been linked up with me that maybe I want to meet before you know what you're thinking about tender all the time and it's not because they're purposely being efficient and giving you the best match it's because I'm manipulating how they give you the data and that's disgusting to me that's that's so bad it frustrates me frankly in fact swiping itself can become addictive so much so that tender listener this put a limit on the number of likes or whites right right swipes you can get for free each day now you have to pay for more swipes by opting for tenders plus or gold tears so now they're going to make it to where you can get that that that soul mate information you can't get this now you can only swipe no so many times so guess what you become real careful with your nose why because now I'm going to have to pay to swipe know what. This is craziness people pay though in a story in The Washington Post. Jeanette Purvis a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Hawaii likened the feeling people get from using tender to $1.00 to $1.00 drug addict addicts experience in a study on the brains of drug drug addicts researchers found that the expectation of the drug causes more release of the feel good neurotransmitter dopamine than the drug itself now that is that has been publicized for a very long time what they're finding is the way these apps are created the way the social networking platforms are created is the end to sip Asian sometimes gives you even more of that dopamine hit than actually swiping left or swiping right that little pause while it populates and gives you all the Twitter feed that little pause while it waits to give you all the snap chat information that little thing right then your brain realizes something something's come and so they pulled lucky number 17 ding ding ding ding ding ding and our brains are being hijacked addiction code as it's called in the industry how can we get people to look at our apps and continue on and this continues on and on and on I mean we have far too much information here we are out of time but friends I want to encourage you be very careful with what you're allowing into your brains be very careful how you're going to access your information will look at tomorrow social media now specifically and what social media is great lie is will also be looking at at at false news not fake news and what our president says but we're talking about real false news and the problem with how Facebook is using being used to propagate political ideas and so we're going to look at all these different things tomorrow in the social media section of this message. But intil been think about that do you need to be notified all the time was going on all the time we are not that important I am not God and God never wanted me to have on the presence and when you think about Facebook and some of these all those social media platforms they can be very voyeuristic and inappropriate looking into other people's lives and then jealousies starts to be bred Well I don't have that kind of vacation and so on be careful little eyes what you see Be careful little ears what you hear Be careful little fingers what you tap on on your screen let's pray Father in Heaven Lord please be with us now as we go throughout the day help us to make great decisions for you impress us with your Holy Spirit we pray to Jesus they were his in this media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave Visit W W W audio verse or.


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