This week ex-Facebook president Sean Parker went off script at an Axios event. He decried what social media giants like the one he helped build have now become—calling it a “social feedback loop.” Facebook, he said, was built upon this question: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?”
Parker isn’t the only technology builder who is now worried about the psychological havoc he’s wreaked. Last month the Guardian published a feature about early Silicon Valley developers and designers who have realized the unforeseen ills their products have created. These people built programs like Gchat and Facebook’s “like” button, and are now saying these companies have changed how many humans’ brains work.
Though they’re still in the minority, this could become a trend for technology professionals entering their middle age. Perhaps they fear what kind of legacy they are bestowing to the next generation.
It’s not a coincidence that this is happening right as they’re all having kids!
— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) November 9, 2017