Silicon Valley tech luminaries have condemned social media and excessive use of technology as damaging to society and detrimental to users. Tim Cook, Apple's CEO admitted that Apple products are not meant for constant use. In 2018, in a keynote address at the European Parliament, he said.
“Our own information from the everyday to the deeply personal is weaponised against us with military efficiency.Technology can harm rather than help”.
Hardly a revelation if you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.They can be addictive and damaging and users need to switch off from time to time.Many social media platforms keep the user so engaged,that logging in is part of a daily routine in millions of people around the world.
And what do we gain by using these sites? Reading through the comments in a Facebook post by a well known national newspaper, all I could read were verbal attacks between users as everyone had different views on the topic. Some of those users made their feelings clear, they were upset about someone else attacking them to the point that comments were having a bad effect on their day and their mental health.
Speaking at the European Parliament, Tim Cook told the audience.
“For artificial intelligence to be truly smart, it must respect human values including privacy. We should not sugarcoat the consequences.This is surveillance and this collection of personal data serves only to enrich the companies that collect them.Even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence, and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false.This crisis is real, it is not imagined or exaggerated or crazy”.
Are we surprised by the Apple CEO's words? Nope.Tech companies and their social media platforms don’t care about your opinion but they do care about user engagement.
By commenting on a news post on Facebook,for example,Metaverse is getting advertising money and engaging the audience successfully. Even if all they managed to achieve in terms of engagement are users posting hateful comments.
People who use platforms created in wealthy and prosperous Silicon Valley, should do as the top executives do.Switch off, don't engage. After all, they definitely know a thing or two about the little monsters they created.
If they don’t even allow their kids to use tech devices or sign up to social media platforms, then that should tell us a lot about relaxing the use we make of the services they provide.They are useful when you use them occasionally and only when needed but damaging when you can’t set a limit.
For Silicon Valley social media executives, the more comments, the more engagement, the better. Are you getting paid for commenting and engaging with social media posts on a daily basis? If the answer is no, remember that they are getting to know you by your likes, dislikes and opinions which for them equals profit.
According to Tim Cook,”now more than ever as citizens we must ask ourselves, what kind of world do we want to live in?Technology is capable of doing great things, but as for social media platforms and forums, there are hardly any in the Internet that will enrich your life and make you a better human”.