The Tech Backlash

Tech stocks are going down the tubes. Sheryl Sandberg is suddenly a bad guy. There are never ending stories about how bad iPhones are for kids, and how the tech CEOs won’t let their own kids have access to the Internet.

Has Tech jumped the shark?

A couple of weekends, Steve, Ian, and I went down to DC for a quick getaway. Schools in New Jersey were closed, but not the workplaces. So, Steve and I were glued to our phones as we were walking through museums and sitting in restaurants. We knew it was evil, but we couldn’t help it. Steve, who now a director at his bank, had to help put out fires in the office, remotely moving files and soothing stressed out traders. I was getting anxious looking at the stories coming out that I should have written.

Ian was probably better behaved with his phone than we were. which is rather sad. He’s addicted to those stupid “daily rewards” on his video games. He has to check into 18 video games every day or else his characters die or something. It’s the worst possible scenario for a kid with mild OCD and anxiety. He has the situation at a manageable level right now — meaning that it does it so quickly that it doesn’t use up a lot of time or interfere with real life — but it’s really insane.

We all know this situation is stupid, but are we stopping? Are we slowing down? Do we have our addictions at manageable levels? What do you think?

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6 thoughts on “The Tech Backlash

  1. I just know a lot more people who are leaving facebook or never post anymore. I myself think that’s going to be my New Years resolution. that said, its not like I hear from these friends any more than I did so I don’t know. The problem is the genie is out of the bottle and too many people bought into the amazon echo or whatever bullshit that is so I think the Internet of things is coming. Social media might take a hit, but tech is not going anywhere. And I’m sorry about your awkward day off but I guess the other option is not to go at all, right?

  2. I’m level 40 on Pokemon Go. But that and leaving bad puns in comments is about all I do. I read Facebook, but only briefly and I don’t post.

  3. Anyway, I can pay attention to my companions at dinner, if there’s either booze or reasonable conversation, but I’m never going to a museum without looking at my smart phone again. It’s a clear improvement over the old way of going to a museum with others and either being bored or forcing them through the exhibits faster than they’d like.

  4. Except for the politically fraught times when I have to limit myself from facebook so that I’m not obsessively following the news (and, I succeed in limiting myself, when I decide to), I like facebook. I do rely on FB for connections.

    One friend has deleted her FB account recently and if others do, too, I won’t have that connection any more.

    I’ve concluded that there really is such a thing as an addictive personality (to different degrees), and that people have to figure out where they lie on that continuum and develop their own coping tools. I do not think that personal regulation can be done from the outside (well, except parentally, and, potentially, in some schools). My kiddo’s high school has eliminated phone use in the classroom (enforced to different degrees by teachers) and I am fully in support.

    There’s another issue with the internet, which is the spread of toxic lies, some of which might be amenable to non-content based regulation (for example, requiring transparency in advertisement, including political, trusted sources verification, . . . .). But, I don’t think the companies will do it themselves. I hope someday to have functional government again, so that there could be a real conversation.

  5. I do think the genie is out of the bottle (as, say, with television). We survived television, though, and people certainly made very similar arguments about the destruction it would create. It probably did cause destruction, but, moving forward (and hopefully pulling good, too) is always the only option.

  6. I think tech is just getting going. And NASDAQ is only down 1.47% for the day, which is not the end of the world for tech. Five years ago NASDAQ was at about 4,000. Today it’s over 7,000. The trick is not to sell when everyone else is panicking, and not to buy when everyone else is buying.

    Facebook may not survive–but I don’t care. It does seem they’re not telling the truth about their practices. To various governments. Which is Not a Good Sign.

    Maybe Oculus pushed them over the edge? I find the idea so creepy, it’s hard to believe anyone agrees to allow corporations to install spyware in the home, but then again I’m an outlier.

    As to smart phone use, the etiquette is still emerging. I refuse to worry right now. I’m old enough to have seen too many magazine articles from “experts” lamenting something.

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