Frank Brown Cloud has posted an excellent essay on the role of belief in our economy—particularly with regard to inflation. (Frank’s feed should really be in your RSS reader.) In the midst of his essay, he has this great aside:
Incidentally, this is why Facebook (& Instagram, & …) is designed to make users unhappy. The users of Facebook are the product that Facebook sells to advertisers, and an unhappy user is more desirable to advertisers than a happy user. By intentionally cultivating unhappiness in emotionally-addictive ways, Facebook can offer advertisers a premium product: the attention of people who are more likely to buy things as they attempt to fill an empty ache inside.