Are we and our children becoming addicted to social media interactions?
Whether or not we think we are addicted, the network and machine are designed and programmed to treat us as addicts. Addiction is, quite deliberately, the template for our relationship to the Twittering , IG and Facebook Machine.
This addiction is is all about attention and reciprocal stimulation. If social media is an addiction machine, the addictive behaviour it is closest to is gambling: a rigged lottery.
Every gambler trusts in a few abstract symbols including the dots on a dice, numerals, suits, red or black, the graphemes on a fruit machine to tell them who they are.
In most cases, the answer is brutal and swift: you are a loser and you are going home with nothing. The true gambler takes a perverse joy in anteing up, putting their whole being at stake. On social media, you scratch out a few words, a few symbols, and press send, rolling the dice.
The internet will tell you who you are and what your destiny is through arithmetic likes, shares and comments.