Sean Parker of Napster, Facebook, and Spotify fame spoke out against one of his former employers in an interview with Axios. He explained how Facebook hooks and potentially harms us psychologically.
“It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other, he said. “It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Since leaving Facebook and founding he Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the former dotcom trendsetter has become “something of a conscientious objector” to social media.
“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'”
Parker, who was played by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 movie The Social Network, helped expand Facebook in its early days as the company’s first President. His inside look into the development of social media as an all-encompassing phenomenon bounced between pride and regret.
“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”
Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, gave me a candid insider’s look at how social networks purposely hook and potentially hurt our brains.
Be smart: Parker’s I-was-there account provides priceless perspective in the rising debate about the power and effects of the social networks, which now have scale and reach unknown in human history. He’s worried enough that he’s sounding the alarm.