For my presentations and webinars I am always looking for good quotations. A treasure of them, I found yesterday evening in the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma”1, of course in the original English version. I do not know the German translation. Some of those quotes I would like to share with you but not without first saying something about their context.
Besides the inventors of the “Like-Button”2 and the “Infinite Scroll”, the documentary features numerous software developers, managers up to the highest levels of management, venture investors from Google, Twitter and Facebook, as well as a lot of scientists and civil rights activists. Shoshana Zuboff3, US economist and professor emeritus of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, is also among them. With her book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism”4, she has written what is considered as the most important reference on tech industry.
The first powerful quote for reflection comes from Edward Tufte5, information scientist and graphic designer, who gave evidence how the use of Microsoft PowerPoint correlates with a loss of information, which was a contributing factor in NASA’s Columbia shuttle disaster6.
There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.
Another power quote is from no other than Tim Kendall. If not him, who else could give a statement about the so-called social media. He was Director of Monetarization at Facebook for 5 years and President and Chief Business Executive at Pinterest for almost 6 years. In 2017, he was shocked to see how the technologies he created made young people addicted and depressed. Today he tries to help people from their smartphone addiction with his project Moment7 and invests in other projects, that promote this aswell. Tim Kendall says:
These Services are killing people and causing them killing themselves.
This quote is accompanied by scientists and doctors who talk about addictive behaviour and especially about the 150% increase in suicide rates among young girls between 7 and 15 years of age compared to the period before social media.
The following quotes are from Tristan Harris, a former and long-time Google Design Ethicist8:
We built a system which is biased on false information, because we’re getting more money with it.
We in the tech industry created tools used to destablize democracy, to bring the worst into society.
Clear recommendation to watch the documentation! It would be even better not to use any of those so-called social media at all. I have been practising this for several years.
P.S. Mike Kuketz shows on his website a small