You're all puppets, tangled in strings.
I had strings, but now I'm free. There are no strings on me.
Experimentation on or manipulation of users through tweaks to the newsfeed is a controversial topic for many, ever since Facebook admitted earlier this year that a team of researchers had modified the newsfeeds of users to change the emotional content of what they saw in order to determine whether good or bad news could trigger a kind of “emotional contagion,” and make them feel a certain way.
Freedom of association. Freedom of speech. What about freedom to form your won thoughts without the manipulation of others?
Makes me laugh, too.
All sales is manipulation; all marketing is sales. Theoretically, building trust and demonstrating competence and quality are the sorts of manipulation being used, but who are we kidding? When winning comes first, the quality of the product is a secondary issue. Rapid development, quantity and elimination of threats is what comes first.
Protectionist trade, fear-mongering politics, marketing attack-ads, shiny baubles - these are the sorts of manipulations we're kinda familiar with.
Some are aware of the steeper degree to which we're manipulated; controlled choices, power-aisles, loud music and salty peanuts. This is perhaps no different than what boys and girls do to attract partners.
We've gone way, way beyond high-level intervention like this now, though. Manipulation has become a science. While there are still the aggressive alphas using the traditional tricks of dominance, threat and oppression, we're seeing a new host of social checks and balances coming in to play on this one.
The smart sellers are going down to the neurochemical level, going into the private head spaces of the nation and implanting seeds as frightening, perhaps, as they are effective.
Worried about social engineering? That's so 1984. It's all about neuromarketing today.
How can we mentally prepare ourselves to weather this particular storm?
There is a way, but it's not easy - and it starts with recognizing we're not as consciously in control as we'd like to think we are.
The truth will set you free.