While I’m generally not a fan of Bill Maher, a colleague passed along the video below, which raises a really interesting parallel — think of an industry, largely unregulated during its early years as it insinuates itself into the daily life of a huge number of people, that sells a product that is bad for your health, and that is deliberately designed to be addictive. Sound familiar? No, not cigarettes, social media.
Do Facebook’s evasions around the role they played in recent elections remind you of tobacco company lawyers talking about the effects of their products (cue Nathan Thurm reference)? In fifty years, when they make a television (or brain implant) show about the social media era, will viewers scoff at how naïve and self-destructive we were, much the way we looked at all the smoking in Mad Men?
(note, the video below contains Not-Safe-For-Work language and some fairly crude humor)