Ex-employees from tech giants, such as Google and Apple have come together to commence an awareness movement, in attempts to educate users on the addictive properties of technology, and want to encourage tech corporations to adapt their products to become “less intrusive and less addictive”.
As part of the campaign, those taking part also intend to make people aware of the further potential dangers of tech, e.g. over-reliance as well as a significant loss of privacy.
Ex-Google employee, Tristan Harris stated that “The most powerful tech companies in the world are making deliberate decisions that do great harm.”
“They’ve created the attention economy and are now engaged in a full-blown arms race to capture and retain human attention, including the attention of kids. Technologists, engineers, and designers have the power and responsibility to hold themselves accountable and build products that create a better world.
Plenty of smart engineers and designers in the industry want to create apps that provide us with the information we need to improve our lives as quickly as possible, instead of just sucking us in for as long as possible.”
She also stated it’s important to point out that platforms such as Facebook are purposefully influencing our thoughts, and exercising their power over users.
In a similar light, Justin Rosenstein, inventor of the Like button, Sean Parke, the first ever president of Facebook, as well as ex-Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, all heavily condemned the tech corporation.
“Tech companies are conducting a massive, real-time experiment on our kids, and, at present, no one is really holding them accountable,” said James P Steyer, the CEO of Common Sense.
“Their business models often encourage them to do whatever they can to grab attention and data and then to worry about the consequences later, even though those very same consequences may at times hurt the social, emotional, and cognitive development of kids.”