Facebook and Twitter are marketplaces and you’re the product

trading-screenshot

Facebook and Twitter are built around the truth that attention is limited and so therefore it can be sold, bought, and traded. When someone opens the Facebook or Twitter app they’re saying that this is the best possible way they can be spending their time right now. This strengthens their product.

But there’s an opportunity cost in terms of lost time that could (and should) go to things that return significantly greater value at a disproportionately less amount of time. The value these platforms have is immediate but short lived.

Infinite scrolling means stretching out the present at the cost of the future. Reading one more tweet means five more lost seconds that could have gone towards time with family or the creation of a new recipe or finishing up that proposal you’re behind on.