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robertogreco : hypnosis   2

The Machine Zone: This Is Where You Go When You Just Can't Stop Looking at Pictures on Facebook - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic
"What an anthropologist's examination of Vegas slot machines reveals about the hours we spend on social networks"



"In Schüll's book, Addiction by Design, a gambler named Lola tells her: "I'm almost hypnotized into being that machine. It's like playing against yourself: You are the machine; the machine is you."

There's that word again: hypnotized, like Stone's grandmother. Many gamblers used variations on the phrase. "To put the zone into words," Schüll writes, "the gamblers I spoke with supplemented an exotic, nineteenth-century terminology of hypnosis and magnetism with twentieth-century references to television watching, computer processing, and vehicle driving.""



"When we get wrapped up in a repetitive task on our computers, I think we can enter some softer version of the machine zone. Obviously, if you're engaged in banter with friends or messaging your mom on Facebook, you're not in that zone. If you're reading actively and writing poems on Twitter, you're not in that zone. If you're making art on Tumblr, you're not in that zone. The machine zone is anti-social, and it's characterized by a lack of human connection. You might be looking at people when you look through photos, but your interactions with their digital presences are mechanical, repetitive, and reinforced by computerized feedback. "



"It just so happens that the user behavioral patterns that are most profitable for Facebook and other social networks are precisely the patterns that they've interpreted to mean that people love them. It's almost as if they determined what would be most profitable and then figured out how to justify that as serving user needs.

But I actually don't believe that. You can say many things about the entrepreneurs, designers, and coders who create social networking companies, but they believe in what they do. They're more likely to be ideologues than craven financial triangulators. And they spend all day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest, too. I bet they know the machine zone, too. And that's why I have hope they might actually stop designing traps.

In any case, fighting the great nullness at the heart of these coercive loops should be one of the goals of technology design, use, and criticism.

In the great tradition of the Valley, we'll make a t-shirt: Just Say No To The Machine Zone."

[Related: http://seriouspony.com/blog/2013/7/24/your-app-makes-me-fat ]
alexismadrigal  2013  culture  internet  facebook  twitter  tumblr  zone  attention  addiction  socialmedia  socialnetworks  machinezone  natashaschüll  slotmachines  hypnosis  flow  mihalycsikszentmihalyi 
august 2013 by robertogreco

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