Social Media: Are you using it or it using you

Aanand S
3 min readJan 25, 2022

Why I’m fascinated about technology is because it develops every instant, the new one trying to
address the problems by the preceding ones. Social media is no exception. The connectivity
among the people at larger distances was well addressed up to a large extent by Social media.
But my interest in the flip side of the coin, why shouldn’t you use it?. The answer popped up in
your mind “””Waste of time”””, but my approach is entirely different….

Manipulator’s and Manipulation

I would like to call the piece of the code which manipulates the social behaviour of humans as
Manipulator’s throughout this course. Manipulator’s are nothing but computer algorithms
designed by the tech-giant which monitors every second you use in social media, how much
time do you look at a photo?, the post’s you liked, the posts you’re tagged in, and
everything…… and set up a personalized feed. Personalized feed means the feed which is
induced by the activity of you in social media, which may or may not differ from others, so i used
the word personalized. Each time you refresh your feed new posts come. Now let’s connect
manipulation and manipulator’s. I want to set up a feed according to my needs , is it possible?.
The answer is YES. The coders can code the manipulators like that. That’s where the real
problems lie and manipulation come to action. Election hijacks are done like this, by setting up
the feeds of a party and manipulating people to vote for that party. That topic is beyond the
scope of this course. One of such manipulation is discussed below.

Dog whistle and Dopamine hit

Which is more loyal towards master cat or dog?. Dog isn’t it…. Are you a dog or cat on social
media..? Imagine I train a cat and a dog to come towards me for a whistle, the dog has more
chance to come than the cat. That’s where my point lies, when you hear that dog whistle on
your phone from social media what you do? Take it isn’t it… You are manipulated like that by the
manipulator’s . Biologically speaking the dog whistle leaves you a dopamine hit to see what’s
that on social media.. There are many such manipulating tools used the social media like typing
indicator to make you know that the other person is typing and keep you connected for some
more time, online indicator, not showing complete messages in notification is to open the app
and use it ( here the feeds will be well set it increase your time of usage). This is a large topic
that’s why I left it my asking questions and partially answering them, rest of this lies on you.

Profit and Personalized Ads

Why is social media free? How do they make money? Answer is not simply ads but
personalized ads. Where the real issue lies… The ads differ by persons like feeds discussed
above so without any ambiguity i used ‘personalized’. What’s the problem with that?.. you will be
thinking it… In older days you see ads before and after tv shows and in radios, but this is not
like that. The social media tech-giants use the data about me and sell it to ads companies and
leave you the personalized ads . Simply you are sold here and social media companies earn
the profit. How much hard you work they make money.
The data is like the heart of the manipulator because a computer algorithm works by analysing
the data and predicting the possible outcome by mathematical probability. It’s an AI world
coming, AI is nothing but combinations of these algorithms, so data privacy is one of the
important topics that hunts today’s tech world.
I’m not against social media but manipulating based social media which I’m trying to open out
to the world. We don’t want to be a product but a customer of social media for which
manipulating based social media systems should be expelled. We can use social media as it
makes our life easy up to an extent