image via RJMETRICS
A lot of people are talking about Jelly. And, I’m not even 50% convinced that the point of Jelly is the point of Jelly.
Jelly is actually a refined cocktail of personal and social addictions that train us to keep pushing the buttons:
We keep swiping to see something new, addicted to whatever shows up next. This is the same thing that keeps us scrolling through listserv posts, reddit threads, 9gag posts, etc. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is strong.
But, then, when we answer something we get a personal/individual Dopamine bump for “completing something” And we don’t even have to work very hard for it, compared to finishing a novel, or writing 750 words essay/blog, or a couple paragraph answer on quora.
Better yet, before too long, we get another notification that someone has “thanked” us for our answer. WE BELONG! Someone needs us! And, not only that, they appreciate *me*. And, so we get a nice little squirt of Serotonin for our trouble (just like every other time our pocket buzzes because someone ‘likes’ us or something we said, or at the very least put another email in our inbox.
Finally, if all that wasn’t enough, we also enjoy the warm cuddly internal hug of Oxytocin that washes over when we’re told somebody needs our help. Even if we are annoyed about the 78th notification in the past hour that @soandso needs our help. We still get to enjoy the chemical response of being needed.
Jelly isn’t really about Q&A. Jelly is the result of boiling down all the most addictive individual and social benefits of digital networks into a singular experience. Digital addiction at its purest and simplest form.