It is no secret that gambling can be addictive, and to many that have been quite a problem. We are not going to discussing the issues that my face with gambling, as that is something for a whole another day of discussion. But, this time around, we are going to be talking about what it is that the social media websites and applications have learned from slots games and gambling in general, that makes the social media become even more popular. Recently, a number of online casinos ended up talking about how social media has been looking at the games that the casinos provide to the people and how these qualities taken from the games have been making it harder for people to stop sitting on their social media platforms. According to the casinos, the relationship between a customer and a slots game is that of risk and satisfaction, one that social media platforms have been able to utilize on a level that is different from how the social media platforms have been doing it.
The function of risk and reward
Slots games have a very simple structure. They ask for a certain input by the player and they provide a certain reward to the player. The reward depends, usually, on the chance that certain patterns will be arranged in certain ways. Usually, the cost of a single time of participation is rather small, while the promised rewards can be pretty huge, or can be nothing at all. This means that the people don’t mind paying the small cost from the very beginning and then receiving a large reward if the chance allows for it. Translating this relationship into a social media platform is not as complicated as you would assume. The simplicity of the act of refreshing a page on a social media platform is all you need to think about. Have you scrolled far enough? Or have you pulled the screen down a little just to see if there are any updates? Then this is your first hint. You are taking a small risk by spending a few seconds of your activity on refreshing the page, expecting a potential reward. The reward could be a comment, friend request, like or a piece of content that you might enjoy. So a small risk in exchange for a worthy reward. But you don’t always get the reward. So you just keep scrolling and refreshing, until you do. This is where some of us find ourselves from time to time. You keep refreshing until you get what you want, but you do not get a thing, you do not get that boost of serotonin that you want. So you stay on your phone, for several hours, until you get what you need out of it.
Leaving social media
This is why so many people find it hard to leave social media. In a way, the addiction might be similar to gambling addiction. The problem is that you want that little bit of reward, that little bit of serotonin that comes with nice content, a nice picture or a nice message from someone. The fact that you need to spend so little effort in waiting for it makes the ordeal seem easy and not worth worrying about if you spend a lot of time on it. That little bit of serotonin is why so many people cannot leave social media easily. The result is similar to that of a slots addict – if you end up not getting anything after time and time again of trying, then you might feel a little less positive and feel a little more frustrated, which causes you to express the negativity onto the world.
So, in the end, social media and slots, are similar in many ways.