We are in a world where advanced technology is everywhere. Apparently, a technology that is easily adapted to everyday use has changed what people are thinking. There is no doubt that our phones have actually hijacked our minds. Yes, social media controls our life now.
Tristan Harris, a former product manager at Google shared his argument on how technology is influencing our mind in ways we don’t understand and recognise.
He recently launched a nonprofit organisation called Time Well Spent, which is devoted to stopping “tech companies from hijacking our minds.”
How do we reform it? Tristan came up with 3 steps:
- Transforming our self-awareness: be the smart one or you can be persuaded. Systems these days are getting better and better at influencing what people are paying attention to. YouTube engineers are trying to get the perfect next auto play that leads us to be addictive into that particular topic.
- Transforming design: apply find-and-replace from the manipulative timeline to the timeline we want to happen. During the US election, people ended up misrepresenting each other’s ideas because they only focused on a little comment box on Facebook. Why don’t we just meet rather than argue online?
- Transforming business and accountability: Facebook allows the hyper-targeting of messages that perfectly persuade people today for the sake of advertising. It gave companies a chance to maximise how much time they have in our life, which is dangerous. We need those engineers to work on a team that is not keeping us glued to the screen.
The thing is, now we need to think about how little technology companies invest in what’s best for people? For example, Facebook: how many people’s minds are jacked in? A shocking 2 billion users from the case of cyber bullying to radicalizing content and beyond, it seems.
So, how are we going to win this war? As a technology industry, it’s quite difficult for us to understand this as we, and of course all of you, spend leisure time on the Internet. But, we only need the ability to solve the problem; our attention and time are two important things toward this issue. We can create a social movement to share this issue and make efforts to pressure these companies into altering their goal not only to think about engagement, but also the future of human beings.
Read this to know more.
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