Gambling is an addiction. Like most addictions, it is quite solidly founded upon the facts of brain neurochemistry and more generally – psychology. Gamblers receive an pleasurable endorphin “hit” comparable to the effect of narcotics when they receive even a small win in whichever gambling method is their particular poison. Gambling machines, mobile apps, casinos and a Global multi-billion dollar industry associated with pseudo-random prize winning – it is all very carefully crafted to influence human perception, psychological and neurochemical biases, and the bundled emotional sensitivities and vulnerabilities that we all possess.
Why does this matter? First – because we are very often sold what amounts to psychological poison dressed up as entertainment. Second – because social media (oh, hello Instagram!) is really very closely aligned to a model of gambling and psychological persuasion or neurochemical stimulation. Social media addiction is an affliction just as is gambling or drug dependency; but, because it (like the other addictions referenced here) supports and reinforces an economic, political, social value-system and cultural norm of globally-exploitative information systems, it is not truly, deeply questioned. Is there a solution? Yes, but it is not what you think it is (- more later).
Social media addiction is a growing phenomenon. It is a problem-space defined by the deep irony that the more connected we all become by the putatively “social” information and communication technologies, the more isolated we all feel ourselves to be. In this context, expectation is fundamentally, foundationally discontinuous with experience.