Hazardous To Our Health

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This illustration picture shows the US multinational technology and Internet-related services company Google logo displayed on a tablet in Paris on February 18, 2019. (LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — I apologize to anyone who’s getting sick of me talking so much about social media technology and the impact it’s having on our kids and ourselves. 

I do it because I think it’s one of the most important cultural issues we face, and judging from the feedback, a lot of you feel the same way.

So I urge you to pay attention to Tristan Harris, a former product designer at Google who has become one of the country’s leading prophets of doom if we don’t wake up to the poisonous effects of tech and social media.

According to a must-read piece on Harris’s crusade in the Wall Street Journal, “technology hasn’t just hacked the attention of users, but it is having negative effects on their self-esteem through the obsession with likes and followers, and their self-will through features like autoplay…that feeds videos continuously unless users make them stop…. He predicts the misuse of facial-recognition technology will soon further undermine trust in the biggest tech platforms—and likely the 2020 elections.”

“Technology is holding the pen of history right now,” he says. “Every major election, and the culture of a new generation, is being written by who?”

Answer: by people who’ve repeatedly shown they value profits and growth over any kind of social responsibility or real empathy for the human damage they’re causing. 

They’re like the tobacco industry before we wised up to the toxic effects of their product, peddling it as a health enhancer and aggressively trying to hide the awful truth.

They hope we’ll get tired of talking about this, and accept the self-reform crumbs they throw down.

I’m not down for that.

Are you?

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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