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Ex-CEO of Alphabet Eric Schmidt Discusses the Negative, Unhealthy Role that Social Media Platforms Have in our Day to Day Lives

In an interview with the Armchair Podcast, the ex-CEO of Google/Alphabet voiced his opinions about social media platforms and how they “maximize” outrage for profit and gain.

Social media platforms have been put under blast on any number of occasions since as far back as their introduction to the general subconscious back in the mid-to-late 2000’s. However, what started out as the whining of parents worried about how much time their kids spent with their eyes glued to that dang computer eventually evolved into a much more alarming debate about privacy, online security, and encountering harmful content across such platforms. In recent times, we’ve also ended up seeing a lot of government-based action against social media companies such as Meta (honestly, it’s mostly Meta). With Congressional hearings, bans in different countries, a constant slew of investigations over monopolization attempts as well as user privacy breaches, it’s a marvel that we still continue to use social media with such interest and vigor. However, it’s difficult to deny and detach ourselves from the online aspects of social life that we’ve developed. When everything in our internet-based world is moving online, so must our social interactions, professional or otherwise.

However, this doesn’t mean that social media accounts can do as they please, running around scot-free. Far from it, as a matter of fact; what this means is that social media platforms must be held to higher standards of privacy and safety. If such sites are such an integral part of the everyday netizen’s life, then they cannot be allowed to do as they please. The point I’m attempting to reach here is one of social media platforms and their toxic relationship with generating revenue and ad engagement at the sacrifice of user safety. A major example of this can be found in Frances Haugen, ex-Facebook employee and current whistleblower, who released a damning amount of information condemning Meta and its social media platforms for actively promoting content that proved detrimental to the community’s mental health, promoting unhealthy beliefs about body image, racial sensitivity, sociopolitical turmoil, and so on. Meta’s reason for doing so: such content raises clicks.

Eric Schmidt, once the CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, voices similar concerns regarding the role of social media platforms in everyday life. During an interview with the famous Dax Shepard-run Armchair Podcast, the tech genius discusses social media addiction and the negative loop that users enter by engaging with harmful content, yet being addicted to it and therefore coming back to it.

I don’t know about you guys, but with all of this I really don’t look forward to seeing how the Metaverse is going to turn out.


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