#mindfultech news of the week: Nov 30, 2018 📰
In this week’s #mindfultech news, we examine the many ways in which tech platforms are starting to eat the world, and whether we have a moral imperative to get off them in our personal lives. We also look at things that are being taken from us without our consent–and end with a clever video. Dig in!
Things We Didn’t Mean To Give Away Get Taken Anyways
In Mark Hurst’s thoughtful piece about the controversial Amazon HQ2, he points out that tech companies “are optimized for one thing: launching platforms to crush all opposition” –– and makes the case that by Amazon barging mostly unwanted into New York City, Silicon Valley is continuing it’s play to turn the city into the next big thing that it can suffocate. Between Google sucking up our personal data on their kiosks and schools being forced to use Facebook designed curriculum, this is not hyperbole.
Speaking of a tech platform benefitting by taking things we didn’t mean to give, here’s a few more things to know this week: Facebook is considering charging for access to user data (that’s our data, friends.) Six Flags amusement parks collected a child’s biometrics without the parent’s consent, and says, basically, “So what? No one got hurt.” The ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation beg to differ. And lastly here, are you one of Marriott’s 500 million customers since 2014? Of course you are. Looks like they just exposed a ton of our personal information, including birth dates and passport info.
Is It Time To Log Off?
As ethically-minded people, do we have a duty to get off Facebook? Knowing that it causes depression and anxiety, do we have a self-care duty to log off permanently? Knowing that it has played “a significant role in undermining democratic values around the world”, that the site has contributed to ethnic cleansing (this according to the United Nations) and is a popular platform for hate speech, and that it relies on the network effect to be successful, is it time for us to start denying Facebook the right to our own networks? Dr. S. Matthew Liao asks: is continuing to use Facebook immoral? Something for all of us to consider.
And while you’re considering that question, make sure you know what’s happening on the corners of the internet that we don’t always see, but are still using everyday. This Editorial Board Op-Ed in the NYT blows open the eerily similar social media techniques of jihadists and right-wing extremists.
Another point of view: Bailey Richardson, one of the original 13 employees at Instagram, has permanently logged off her own accounts. As she told the Washington Post, “It feels like we’re all addicted to a drug that doesn’t get us high anymore.” Mm-hmm.
QUICK TAKES officially renaming this section: HOT TAKES 🔥
Also in #mindfultech news this week . . .
Too busy to post your own vacation photos to Instagram? This Swiss Hotel chain has just the PR stunt for you… introducing ”social media sitters”! .
We’re huge fans of the tracking app Moment, and so we interviewed the founder and dove right into it.
Do you want your mood predicted by tech? (I don’t.)
In his final State of the Art column, Farhad Manjoo suggests that the way to deal with the new era in tech is to slow down and be more mindful. (We agree.)
WHAT WE’RE DIGGING
This video is cracking me up: what logos would look like if modern internet companies were around decades ago. (Embedded below.)
SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE WEEK
We’re going to be announcing a free personal #mindfultech challenge soon. Make sure you’re on the mailing list to get the info!
ps Does anyone else have a weird collection of “I’m on a call” selfies on their computer? No, just me? Well, enjoy this gif I made of mine. 😜
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