|Dystopia: "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - 1984|
|Campaign launched to limit amount of time children spend online (Alamy/The Guardian)|
Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and imposed limits on his use of Facebook.
But even that wasn’t enough. In August, the 34-year-old tech executive took a more radical step to restrict his use of social media and other addictive technologies.
Rosenstein purchased a new iPhone and instructed his assistant to set up a parental-control feature to prevent him from downloading any apps.
He was particularly aware of the allure of Facebook “likes,” which he describes as “bright dings of pseudo-pleasure” that can be as hollow as they are seductive. And Rosenstein should know: He was the Facebook engineer who created the “like” button in the first place.
|1984: "Refuseniks"? What the hell is that?|
- Are smartphones making our children sad? US psychologist Jean Twenge, who has claimed that social media is having a bad affect on the young, answers critics who accuse her of crying wolf.
|Rise of Trump: holds attention (John Locher)|
Instead, they tend to have worked a rung or two down the corporate ladder: designers, engineers, and product managers who, like Rosenstein, several years ago put in place the building blocks of a digital world from which they are now trying to disentangle themselves.
“It is very common,” Rosenstein says, “for humans to develop things with the best of intentions and for them to have unintended, negative consequences.”
|Most of the US has low opinion of Trump.|
|"We shall overcomb."|
One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity -- even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.”
But those concerns are trivial compared with the devastating impact upon the political system that some of Rosenstein’s peers believe can be attributed to the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it. More (Comments)