On Quartz, an insanely fascinating article by Alexis Madrigal on how people like Facebook because it's like gambling. Alexis doesn't mean Facebook is addictive -- though we spend an incredible time on it. What it really is about, much like gambling on a slot machine, is getting into the zone, finding "the pleasure of the repeat, the security of the loop."
I know the hypnosis, as Im sure you do, too. You start clicking through photos of your friends of friends and next thing you know an hour has gone by. Its oddly soothing, but unsatisfying. Once the spell is broken, I feel like Ive just wasted a bunch of time. But while its happening, Im caught inside the machine, a human animated GIF: I. Just. Cannot. Stop.
Or maybe itll come on when Im scrolling through tweets at night before bed. Im not even clicking the links or responding to people. Im just scrolling down, or worse, pulling down with my thumb, reloading, reloading.
Or sometimes, I get caught in the melancholy of Tumblrs infinite scroll.
Are these experiences, as Stone would have it, love? The tech world generally measures how much you like a service by how much time you spend on it. So a lot of time equals love.
My own intuition is that this is not love. Its something much more technologically specific that MIT anthropologist Natasha Schüll calls the machine zone.
|The Facebook Fad is Coming to an End|
|Crumbs: Temporary Holding Page to Encourage Clients Ignoring Their Invoices to Pay Up|
|How to Start an Anonymous Blog|
|Facebook Home: Not Quite the Facebook Phone, But Pretty Close|
|Can Windows kill the Internet?|
|“The Amish use us as an experiment.”|
|“Every human being on this planet will be completely redundant within a decade.”|
|“These planets are more likely to look like giant eyeballs whose gaze is forever fixed on their host star.”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|Amateur-Built Electric Car Going After Record Set by Tesla|
|“Without any security company in the world recognizing that it even existed.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Single use forever launch clock.”|