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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What If Psychologists Got Together With Facebook For A More Realistic Experience ....

There is something very sinister going on with Facebook. Like all things it started out fantastic. You could connect with people in a way MySpace was not able to. You could share all that was unfolding in your life.

Recently though I had two experiences which creeped me out. The first was when I was writing what some of my friends call my humorous ramblings but which my partner calls my verbal diarrhoea and my lack of containment values.

To be fair to myself, I have so few ways to communicate with friends I have met along the way other that by my private Facebook account. It gives them a chance to laugh with my observations, share a similar experience or just disagree with me. As I was typing the other day though, my thoughts were being categorised for Facebook into subject matters as I wrote "I am looking forward to my early morning walk tomorrow morning when I get a real serenity from taking in the sunrise" , as an example statement, was being whittled into "sport, weather, philosophy" ... Ewww.... when did Facebook start doing this? It was all that disgusting big data harvesting that they were doing, no doubt helping US Presidential candidates, McDonalds and Coca-Cola figure out what to sell you next.

I realised we were not just giving them information there, but we were now grading our emotions for the people at FB too by having additional liking capabilities which told them more about how we felt about something posted in our feed.

I don't know how to get off Facebook. I use it for business. I like it conceptually. I have been able to define more precisely who we market to. But it's all at a cost, and we are all inadvertently paying for it every time we click.

It got me thinking last night about something that Facebook should have done but probably overlooked. Psychologists who believe in the Pia Mellody model of human behaviour believe that human emotions can be whittled down to 8 core feelings. Anger. Guilt. Joy. Love. Shame. Fear. Loneliness. Pain.

Perhaps if we really wanted to harvest good data, they might start switching out the existing emotional panel so that we can all get a little bit of transparent psychotherapy whilst they are harvesting our data....

I guess I feel ... love, joy, fear, shame, pain and anger about that.... 

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