Leslie Roberts: Ok I want you to be honest when I ask you, Do you feel you’re addicted to your smartphone? Is it something you find you pull out in inappropriate places, maybe at the dinner table, maybe with friends, in the middle of a conversation? Ya guilty as charged right? Well you know at the end of the day that you have control over this device right? And it doesn’t have control over you. Well less than you think actually. It’s called brain hacking, and why does it happen? Because it’s all about the dollars. It’s silicon valley’s dirty little secret. It was exposed by a whistle blower who used to work in silicon valley and felt guilty and wanted to share that dirty little secret with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes:
When these features are being designed are they designed to best help people with their life or are they being designed because they are best at hooking people into using the product? Inadvertently whether they want to or not they are shaping the thoughts and feelings and actions of people: they are programming people. 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. They want you to use technology in particular ways and for long periods of time because that’s how they make their money.
Let’s talk about brain hacking with Dr. Joe Flanders with the Director of MindSpace Clinic here in Montreal. Joe- Shouldn’t we have seen this coming?
Dr. Joe Flanders: Ya, it’s interesting that the internet is evolving and changing and moving along so fast and it sort of starting creeping up on us in a sense. 10 years ago this was less of an issue but it’s certainly an issue now as the techniques that the engineers in the silicon valley are getting more and more sophisticated and they know more and more about our behaviour.
Leslie Roberts: Do you know how it works?
Dr. Joe Flanders: I know a little bit about it, ultimately it is behavioural psychology that they are using. But, it would certainly be impossible for me, one individual to keep up to date with literally hundreds of thousands of the smartest computer engineers in the world with millions and millions of dollars and the most sophisticated behavioural experiments and neuroscience studies backing them. So I have some of the basics in mind but this is a very sophisticated operation.