Internet Addiction is Real And You Need Help (Luckily, It Might Be On The Way)
Submitted by: lalapancakes⚫ 6 months ago
Some poor soul is out there trying to sell Silicon Valley its own soul back... or, at least... if it ever had one to begin with. Software ethics developer, Tristan Harris is challenging the thousands of people whose job it is to make social media addicting. Harris believes addictive social media is making us stupid intentionally because those short attention spans guide the user back to the scroll which, inevitably is the most profitable thing on the internet. Harris is calling for a “Hippocratic oath” for software developers.
“Under the auspices of Time Well Spent, Harris is leading a movement to change the fundamentals of software design. He is rallying product designers to adopt a 'Hippocratic oath' for software that, he explains, would check the practice of “exposing people’s psychological vulnerabilities' and restore 'agency' to users. 'There needs to be new ratings, new criteria, new design standards, new certification standards,' he says. 'There is a way to design based not on addiction.'”
“[Former venture capitalist, Josh] Elman compares the tech industry to Big Tobacco before the link between cigarettes and cancer was established: keen to give customers more of what they want, yet simultaneously inflicting collateral damage on their lives. Harris, Elman says, is offering Silicon Valley a chance to reevaluate before more-immersive technology, like virtual reality, pushes us beyond a point of no return.”
“A Facebook spokesperson told me the social network focuses on maximizing the quality of the experience—not the time its users spend on the site—and surveys its users daily to gauge success. In response to this feedback, Facebook recently tweaked its News Feed algorithm to punish clickbait—stories with sensationalist headlines designed to attract readers. (LinkedIn and Instagram declined requests for comment. Twitter did not reply to multiple queries.)”