Thursday, May 30, 2024

Gaia Bernstein on "Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies"

Guest post by Gaia Bernstein Technology Privacy and Policy Professor of Law, Co-Director of the Institute for Privacy protection and the Gibbons Institute for Law Science and Technology, Seton Hall University School of Law, based on her recent TEDx talk.   

Nine years ago, when I sat down to research in a coffee shop took out my laptop, Kindle and phone, but hours later realized that I accomplished little, but felt fatigue. What happened? I realized the hours were wasted on emails, texts and mostly aimless web surfing. I started understanding them that something was wrong.

Since then, I spent years figuring out what happened and what can we do to solve the problem of technology addiction. 

In 2017, I created a school outreach program for students at the age in which they get their first cell phone and their parents. 

Last year, I published a book: Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies. 

Since the book’s publication I got involved in advocacy work around kids and technology addiction.

This week my TEDx talk titled “The Truth About Technology,” which is based on all of this came out.

In the talk I argue that parents often blame themselves for their children’s excessive screen time, seeing it as a failure of their parenting strategies, but the real problem is the tech industry’s intentionally addictive designs. By comparing technology companies to the Big Tobacco of the 21st century, I highlight how these corporations manipulate user behavior for profit.

I call for a shift in blame towards these tech giants and urges us to unite in collective action – in our communities and courtrooms – to reform their harmful practices.

The talk is available here on TED’s YouTube channel:

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