Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport | Book Review + Notes [Part 2: Bakit Tayo Nagkaganito?]

Almost 1 week na since nag-start ako na baguhin yung unhealthy habits ko and so far, okay naman. Napapanindigan pa.

So balik ako dun sa book, meron daw iba’t ibang “ingredients” bakit nga nakaka-hook ang technology or social media. Two of those:

  1. Intermittent positive reinforcement

Eto na nga yung unpredictable rewards na sinasabi which releases more dopamine. Back to the slot machine analogy.

It hurts but it’s true 😭

And ang interesting neto. Nananadya talaga sila.

As Harris notes, the notification symbol for Facebook was originally blue, to match the palette of the rest of the site, “but no one used it.” So they changed the color to red—an alarm color—and clicking skyrocketed.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

And binanggit din na dati naman, if you post, walang option na magbigay ng feedback yung friends mo. No option to comment or react. One way lang yung transfer of information.

Parang magandang idea nga ‘yon na bumalik sa pre-feedback era. Kung iisipin mong mabuti, parang wala namang mawawala diba. Makakatulong pa nga. Pero syempre, hindi papayag ang mga tech companies.

The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, . . . was all about: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever.

Sean Parker | Founding President of Facebook

2. Drive for social approval

We’re social beings who can’t ever completely ignore what other people think of us.

Irresistable by Adam Alter

So ang useless pala nung super cliché na advice na, “Stop caring what other people think of you.” 😅 Yung behavior daw na ‘to is rooted from way way back when people needed to belong in a tribe for survival. So sa modern world, parang ganito yung nangyayari:

If lots of people click the little heart icon under your latest Instagram post, it feels like the tribe is showing you approval—which we’re adapted to strongly crave. The other side of this evolutionary bargain, of course, is that a lack of positive feedback creates a sense of distress. This is serious business for the Paleolithic brain, and therefore it can develop an urgent need to continually monitor this “vital” information.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

At least nga naman, noong unang panahon, they care about social approval to survive. Eh ngayon, kelangan ba natin ng likes and comments to survive?

It also explains the universal urge to immediately answer an incoming text, even in the most inappropriate or dangerous conditions (think: behind the wheel). Our Paleolithic brain categorizes ignoring a newly arrived text the same as snubbing the tribe member trying to attract your attention by the communal fire: a potentially dangerous social faux pas.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Haha dito rin ako super guilty. The urge to immediately respond is real. Kaya din super engaged ako sa book na ‘to kasi tina-tackle nya talaga yung nooks and crannies kung bakit tayo nagkaganito. And the more mas naiintindihan ko sya, parang the more ako nagiging eager to correct yung behavior ko.

“Whether there’s a notification or not, it doesn’t really feel that good,” Pearlman (Product Manager on the team that developed the “Like” button) said about the experience of checking social media feedback. “Whatever we’re hoping to see, it never quite meets that bar.”

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

And isa pang interesting, remember when tagging your friends in a photo was made possible?

As Harris argues, these companies didn’t invest the massive resources necessary to perfect this auto-tagging feature because it was somehow crucial to their social network’s usefulness. They instead made this investment so they could significantly increase the amount of addictive nuggets of social approval that their apps could deliver to their users.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

It’s a social-validation feedback loop . . . exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.

Sean Parker | Founding President of Facebook

So at this point, hindi na talaga ko naniniwala na, “Nasa tao naman yan.” Na entirely kasalanan natin bakit tayo naaadik magcheck ng phone natin. And realizing this, mas nakita ko na sya in another light and nawala na yung frustration ko with myself. I feel like I can start to take control of my digital life little by little and have a more useful and healthier relationship with it.

Compulsive use is not the result of a character flaw, but instead the realization of a massively profitable business plan.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
It’s a battle for our autonomy

After kong maintindihan ang lahat, siguro ang dali lang sabihin na, “Okay eh di i-delete ko na lang yung Instagram ko. Magdedeactivate na ko ulit ng Facebook. Hindi na ko magchcheck ng notifications blah blah…” Pero yung sumunod na chapters discusses strategies on how we can become consistent and pano mangyayari na eto na yung magiging way of life natin.

Kasi ako, ilang beses na kong nagdeactivate ng Facebook. Nag-attempt na kong mag-delete ng Instagram. At some point naisip kong burahin na yung Messenger ko. Eto yung mga quick fix na ginawa ko noon pero obviously, hindi naging successful.

Yung philosophy na gustong i-propose nung author is the title of the book: Digital Minimalism.


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