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What's More Important than Math?

The Trumps, Google, Amazon, Facebook and General Motors were all in the news without scandal.

On Monday, to much pomp and circumstance, President Trump and first daughter Ivanka, the usual tech titans, General Motors and Lockheed, among others — announced a $300 million dollar investment in S.T.E.M. programs, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education.


SQUIRREL! = Constant distractions, like Dug the dog from the movie UP

Someone just liked my photo on Facebook…was I writing?…

“This is an industry leading the way,” said Trump.

Leading the way where? The announcement is a human resources line item at best, a halo PR opportunity at worst.

Where are these companies leading us? To live a better life? To a world filled with happy, confident people? Nope.

The Real Threat

Snaps for Donald for making headlines for something other than tweeting. But, the biggest threat to our society is not a dearth of technology talent.

The most disturbing threat to our future is technology itself. Don’t believe me?

Text from my teen asking to be picked up…where was I?

Enter, Tristan Harris. Formerly a Design Ethicist at Google, now leading Time Well Spent, a non-profit movement to align technology with humanity.

Harris, along with a landslide of new research from neuroscientists, addiction experts, professors and productivity gurus are speaking out against the risks of allowing technology to dictate our lives.

“I don’t know a more urgent problem than this,” said Harris.

In his eloquent TED Talk below, Harris claims we’re becoming robots controlled by a few tech companies catering to advertisers.

“A few companies steer the minds of billions of people every day. From Facebook notifications to SnapStreaks and YouTube autoplay, they’re competing for one thing — our attention.”

Harris acknowledges the temptation to dismiss Snapchat addiction as the 20th century equivalent of telephone gossip marathons, but there’s one notable difference. Forty years ago, hundreds of brilliant engineers armed with with terabytes of our personal data, PhDs in Psychology, funded by millions of advertising dollars were not controlling our conversation. With that kind of war chest, Harris posits, technology has the power to change everything — our conversations, democracy and our ability to build relationships.

Incoming call rings on my iPhone, laptop, headset, watch and iPad simultaneously…back to technology being evil…

Let’s ask the Trumps to do something really newsworthy — invest in the Time Well Spent movement and legislate change to create a better future.

Time Well Spent

The TWS movement suggests a few critical changes we must make in society.

Time Well Spent

Let’s Take Back Control!

Acknowledge we’re persuadable.
Once we accept that we’re ceding our free will to advertisers, we can take back control of our time.

And why was Apple not invited to this PR boondoggle?

Maybe they were busy fixing iOs 11 — the latest mobile operating system for the iPhone, or maybe they just don’t care. Apparently, Apple needs a Design Ethicist.

The new OS both tries to prevent texting while driving and optimizes for “Multitasking.”

Where’s the moral rudder Apple?

We’ve got a long way to go for that design revolution. Tristan?

Marissa Verson Harrison is the co-founder of​ ScreenAge BootCamp, an online training platform for modern families. We help parents, and the teens they love, balance media use and learn new skills for the knowledge economy. Sign up here to find out more!

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