12/15/18                                                                                          Volume 2 Issue 32

                                   Best You Guru™

                          Hijacking the authentic identity 

A person will never satisfy their thrust by drinking sewer water nor find themselves in an algorithm. Read “Who moved my cheese” by Spencer Johnson. I believe it was first published in 1998 but nonetheless, get the book. People are seeking answers to questions that they really knew at birth. The primary question each of us should ask is how can I fulfill my potential. Our life was meant to be about the gift of potential within each of us. Life was never intended to be about a job, an Ivy League school, acquiring a social status, acquiring massive wealth, or numerous other potential limiting premises. Your life is about you living to your potential. The true purpose of life is living it as you.        


A generation has awoken. Millennials are realizing their potential has been hijacked. They are confused as to the path to take or what will bring them happiness, security, and peace. They just know what does not work. Advancing technology has produced many external comforts. Financial wealth has produced historical levels of leisure activities and the amount of leisure time. We have everything but ourselves. American lives are highlighted by the things surrounding them, not what is within them. Things do not produce the freedom, security, joy, happiness, or peace. Millennials have found answers offered by traditional institutions to be lacking in effectiveness. Traditional answers to life challenges are no longer adequate. Material things bring temporary satisfaction and leave people wanting more or different. Objects provide a sense of want. Comfort has replaced individual success. Millennials are now questioning the price they must pay for living in a modern society. Millennials are being told to ignore real greatness for the fool’s gold of prosperity? Many people are finding fool’s gold to be unfulfilling. As a generation, millennials are not lazy. Millennials are not self-centered. Millennials are not a bubbled wrapped generation. Millennials are conflicted and confused. Millennials want more than a life of broken promises. Millennials want the promises of the American dream. Previous answers, traditions, and methods are no longer widely applicable to the challenges of the millennials. Current and future generations require a new set of problems solving skills in their effort to advance humankind. The identity of our youth has been lost and their purpose denied them. They are serving a purpose counter to their inherent purpose. 


The hijacking of the individual identity is one of the battles millennials must fight. Advances in technology is a double-edged sword. Business and social institutions use technology to hijack the brain in an effort to increase profits and control human behavior. I make no moral judgment about businesses using legal methods to produce profits. I make no moral judgment about institutions controlling their follower’s behavior. The purpose of business is to a create profit. Ethically produced profits are a pillar of Adam Smith’s theories on capitalism.  Are we sacrificing the advancement of humankind for immediate and short-term profits? Commerce is how we sustain life but it should not be the purpose of life. Businesses use the tool of advertising to assist in creating profits and creating a consumer base. Advertising is all about convincing people to purchase a product solving a real or apparent problem. Problem-solving is the preferable profit-making method. That has been the norm for centuries. Technology has created methods in procuring a customer base that may have a lasting negative impact on civilization.


Technology has brought us a new tool in the creation of a customer base. A new method to capture and maintain a customer base to ensure profitability has entered the market. This process has the opportunity to increase profitably like humankind has never witnessed. The release of dopamine has entered the business world in ways that customers may be unaware. Advertising has always been used to make people feel good about a purchase. Making a purchase was designed to make us feel good. People were aware of the influence. Today we are feeling good and the majority of the population do not understand why it is happening. The majority are unaware of the consumer manipulation. Artificial Intelligence and data utilization will change the world as we know it.


Has an ethical or moral line been crossed? People are programmable and the methods are now widely used. Our brains naturally release dopamine.  Dopamine is the pleasure chemical. Dopamine is a chemical that passes information from one neuron to the next. Dopamine is involved in many neuron pathways. Increases in dopamine occur in our response to sex, drugs, lust, motivation, addiction, and other areas of pleasure. Dopamine has an impact on our bodies and lives far exceeding the scope of this blog. This pleasure sensation is now utilized based on the commands of a business or some outside entity. For the purposes of this blog, we focus on how it is used in hijacking our authentic identity. The pleasure chemical is being manipulated to the determent of the individual. 


Every like on Facebook produces a pleasure reaction due to a release of dopamine. The pleasure is short-lived and thus creates a need for repeated stimulation. Twitter and numerous other social platforms, influence people in ways that have never been used on such a large scale. Social media can affect the brain similar to a good hug. A person can subscribe to a YouTube channel that does nothing but open eggs. Surprise eggs seem harmless, but are they? People will watch these videos for hours because of the hits of dopamine the brain receives once the egg is opened and the viewer gets to see what was inside. Advertisers use this as a brain hack. Pinterest uses it to get their viewers to watch longer and more often. People are using technology to build a more controllable and profitable world for those using these tools. Building a predictable world is what most people seek and when little surprises are added it is like a dopamine hit. Organizations seek a stable method of profitability and sustainability. The populace seeks pleasure. Business, political, nonprofit, sports teams, and other entities are learning how to provide the populace what they seek. The brain can be hacked with hits of dopamine. Children are the most susceptible. Social media platforms have learned to use this technique to train their viewers. We are voluntarily being subjected to brain hacking.


The technology we invest can be amusing and educational, it can be amazing and life-changing. The impulse to chase technology advancement is all around us. Humans cannot resist this passion for the newest technology. How often do we stop and think about the dark side of innovation? Do we have the ability to manage the negative consequences? Are we even aware of our vulnerabilities? To advance humankind an emphasis must be placed on technology advancing the authentic identity of each individual. Any other effort advances technology for the benefit of those controlling technology. 


Many seemingly harmless and fun videos are on autoplay with a progression of ideas. The longer a person views the video the more ideas are placed upon the brain. Maybe good or maybe harmful. I am not one that sees the harm in all technology. My concern deals with the lack of awareness people have concerning the impact of technology on the brain. Children cartoons can go from innocent to scenes of assault. Assault is disguised as harmless cartoons. Whether they are harmless or harmful is left to the professionals. The point of this discussion is awareness and control. These videos are based on algorithms and keywords typed into the browser. YouTube has numerous brain hacking videos. What purpose do these videos serve? Do they entertain for the purpose of the populace or entertain the masses to capture a market in the pursuit of an agenda? There are videos concerning a plethora of topics on YouTube. The internet and technology have been transformational. Are we part of an uncontrolled experiment? The dilution of knowledge is being replaced by the optimization of sensation. Sensation receives the most likes and thus more advertising monies. We have opted to reward sensation over knowledge.


Action step: Be aware of your interaction with all media. Find the reason someone created something for you to watch. There is a reason.        


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