Ppl working at FB, IG and SC, do you feel guilty/ashamed of yourself?

Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
May 19, 2018 62 Comments

There’s tons of studies coming out showing that social media makes people unhappy and contributes to mental illness. For those of you working at FB, IG, Snapchat (and to a lesser extent Twitter), do you feel guilty/ashamed of your impact on the society? At this point, it’s really no different from working for a tobacco or casino company, that tries to addict its users and cashes in on their addiction.

Facebook and IG’s mission: “Addict the world! Rake the cash in”

Relevant Economist article:
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2018/05/18/how-heavy-use-of-social-media-is-linked-to-mental-illness

Ppl working at FB, IG and SC, do you feel guilty/ashamed of yourself?

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TOP 62 Comments
  • Google Mickey
    Good thing G+ didn't make us have to worry about that :)
    May 19, 2018 1
    • Google Facebook
      It’s actually there in the report, but the corresponding column is all transparent (:
      May 19, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng
    Hooliganss

    Amazon Eng

    BIO
    AWS
    Hooliganssmore
    We should be more worried about self responsibility and how quick we are to blame companies that offer products where consumers volunteer consume them.
    May 19, 2018 9
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      You can easily find a lot of studies searching on Google Scholar. It’s a broadly accepted view in neuroscience. Without jumping into papers, some lighter reference https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-prevention/teenage-addiction
      May 19, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Wins
      Jf@ so it’s all to be blamed on the evil companies, individuals voluntarily using have no responsibility on how they get addicted.

      Also parents of the teenagers have no responsibility in making sure their kids are developing healthy habits?
      May 19, 2018
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      Same answer as tobacco vs teenagers
      May 19, 2018
    • Adobe / Eng
      abcdxyz123

      Adobe Eng

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      Software engineer architect manager big data platforms
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      Wins@ you and I belong to “better informed” class. In that respect we will be in a very high percentile among the population. Can’t say the same for the rest of the US or even the world.

      Are all parents equipped to know what’s good and bad for their kids??

      In that regard we do have some responsibility. Tobacco industry exists but they are required (regulation) to carry the warning on all their products.

      Social media products have no such “warning”. Simply creating fb and dumping it on people without any warnings is not very responsible - is it ????
      May 19, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Wins
      I believe we get what we deserve. (The we is pretty big, and many of us don’t want to read books or go to school or work hard etc. etc. )

      So how much baby proofing is needed to protect the people that don’t want to take care of themselves?

      Have you looked at credit disclosure regulations? Do you think that is protecting the consumer exploitation by banks?

      It feels good to support such regulations, but nobody’s keeping track of effectiveness.
      May 19, 2018
  • Facebook / Design
    Crabcakes

    Facebook Design

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    Crabcakesmore
    No. The world needs platforms for communicating. We are not the cause of human nature.... human nature simply expresses itself on our platforms. People will find ways to become addicted and depressed regardless of what you give them access to. A better question is: does capitalism and corporatism serve the interests of society. If you are optimizing for happiness and sustainability, the answer is a clear no. Businesses are built to compete in this system. The system itself has perverse incentives.
    May 19, 2018 10
    • Facebook / Design
      Crabcakes

      Facebook Design

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      Age limits for use of social media might make sense in theory. Not sure how to enforce.
      May 19, 2018
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      I don’t see a world without social media, but I do hope that people grow more aware of its negative effects and use it more mindfully, develop mechanisms to curb/regulate use to healthy levels and that tech workers think more about what kind of company they would like to work for given the negative effects of social media we are learning about.
      May 19, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

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      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      Scandi countries have a number of massive demographic differences from the US that allows them to implement significant social policies that aren’t feasible in this country.
      May 19, 2018
    • Facebook / Design
      Crabcakes

      Facebook Design

      BIO
      Product designer
      Crabcakesmore
      Check out Tristan Harris / Time Well Spent. I agree that we should think more about how the products impact mental health and try to steer toward more positive outcomes.

      I am forever woeful that the US can’t be operated like a small Scandi
      May 19, 2018
    • Dell Billgat
      OP gives a reply that if you eliminate FB etc. people will find more ways to be addicted but if you take out any study, the time spent on phones via social media has increased considerably in the last two decades. Mediums such as TVs existed before to pass time but none had the capacity for people to judge and to be judged. This craving of being judged or appreciated stimulates the brain similar to the effect of dopamine.
      May 19, 2018
  • Lyft ibukun
    Funny you express your anger through this "social media"; aren't you fueling the fire?
    May 19, 2018 6
    • Lyft ibukun
      Well wouldn't a better question be "how can you work to improve it" rather than "do you feel ashamed" because your question falls towards the net negative of social Media
      May 19, 2018
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      The first step in fixing a problem like this is to become aware of the negative effects of social media.

      There was a time when nobody thought smoking was bad. Raising awareness helped to make people smoke less and to make fewer people go work for tobacco companies.
      May 19, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Wins
      Jf@ would you accept an offer to work at FB if they offered twice what you’re making? Honestly majority of people would take a job telling themselves about fictional greater good.

      Point is, that’s what people want FB is a successful company selling what their customers want. You have a problem you stop using it, there are billions who like this addiction, and few smart people are making money out of that, they shouldn’t be feeling ashamed, instead they should feel proud to be enterprising in this space. Its mathematically inevitable course for humans, if not FB it could have been different company.
      May 19, 2018
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      I honestly wouldn’t. I’ve gotten an offer from FB as a new grad and could probably make a bit more there now, but there’s certain industries (tobacco, alcohol, gambling etc) that I would never work for based on morals and I see addictive social media falling into that category.

      I can see other people do it, though, and that is understandable. People need to make a living. Still I hope that if the pay is comparable or close to comparable, the negative effect of social media is something that factors into people’s decision making.
      May 19, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng Wins
      Social media like all other industries has some positive and some negative effects.

      Just like by making really good smart phones, Hardware companies made these screens addictive, or amazon makes shopping addictive.
      May 19, 2018
  • Square / Eng SQ
    Thumbtack, do you feel guilty that you in no way create a product that's helpful to people and simply burning VC money? Or that you have shitty hiring practices just for the sake of hazing people? That the only way your company is valuable is to load up on ex-FB and Googlers to say that you have talent? Then you close your eyes, cross your fingers, and hope for an acquisition for your entirely shitty product?

    Get a life nerd. And a real a job.
    May 19, 2018 5
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      Wow?! LOL You are a DARK person. Thumbtack helps 200k+ service professionals make a living pursuing their own trade and millions of people get jobs done and be productive. I honestly can’t think of many start ups in the valley with a more unequivocally positive impact on the world.
      May 19, 2018
    • Square / Eng SQ
      Hi. Have you heard of square? Kind of silly how salty you get over your work when there are legitimate people benefiting from IG and Snapchat.

      But keep drinking your kool-aid. You're just a shitty in-between of Angieslist and Taskrabbit. Not really innovative at all. Keep telling whatever you need to help you sleep at night.
      May 19, 2018
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      Square is fine. I never said anything about them. Take some anti depressants or go see a therapist pls
      May 19, 2018
    • Uber Ethrtvvf
      What’s wrong with you, the square guy? You need to see a doctor, seriously!
      May 29, 2018
    • Square / Eng SQ
      Just pointing out the hypocracy of Thumbtack.
      May 29, 2018
  • Microsoft HomeAlone
    Didn't have school shootings until social media.
    May 19, 2018 5
    • Google Mickey
      ...that's just literally untrue.
      May 19, 2018
    • Pinterest
      seehes

      Pinterest

      PRE
      Google, Facebook
      seehesmore
      /Thatsthejoke.jpg
      May 19, 2018
    • Google Mickey
      ...shit.
      May 19, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      To be fair, we didn’t have them at the rate we have them now.

      Culture issue definitely.
      May 19, 2018
    • Microsoft HomeAlone
      First Mass Shooting Columbine 1999
      AOL 1998 columbine shooters website/blog turned dark in postings.
      Google start 1998
      MySpace start 2003
      Facebook start 2004
      May 19, 2018
  • Snapchat mehmet
    Good thread. I’m curious what the other responses are going to be. We try to avoid using growth hacks and spammy push notifications. But the discover page is pretty clickbaity in its own way.

    I feel, not shame, but a disdain for my pride and ambition. I think humility is extremely important, and I think we should have appreciation for our comparatively large salaries rather than fighting in an ego-fueled rat race. To this end, the general worldliness and greed of tech careers is something that troubles me much more than the particularities of social media. Because pride and greed and ego exists at every company.

    I love getting to work on cool projects with strong ownership, and snapchat really allows me to do it. the company also grants me plenty of opportunity to pursue excellence.
    May 19, 2018 0
  • Twitter Onceaday
    I think nestle and kraft foods are worse than social media companies. They don’t make a single healthy item except bottled water which they charge a 2000% markup so it’s basically voluntary extortion when you buy it.
    May 19, 2018 2
    • Chegg / Eng jurs784+
      Sure, but OP wasn't claiming that social media companies are the worst possible companies, just that they are bad. So this isn't really relevant to their question
      May 19, 2018
    • Twitter Onceaday
      yes because worst is so different than bad.... 🙄
      May 19, 2018
  • Salesforce biamwknf
    @op are you ashamed you didn’t get a job there?
    May 19, 2018 0
  • Instagram etc are modern junk food vendors
    May 19, 2018 0
  • New / Eng RhpJ71
    I boycotted social media in 2010. Now I'm slowly getting back to Facebook because the news feed has improved and does not make me depressed:)
    May 19, 2018 0
  • And the new ad facebook has come out with. I don’t know it is pathetic or hilarious when it claims “We will protect your privacy” 😂
    May 19, 2018 0
  • Data and information are the modern day coke. Like it or hate it. And every booming company is an example. Social media is no exception. Whether you are giving data to amazon or google or fb, they will mine it and sell it.
    May 20, 2018 0
  • Apple / Other Tres comas
    What kind of bs psycho babble is this? Why should anyone feel guilty? Social media is not inherently a negative/destructive tool or platform the way tobacco is. Alcohol doesn’t even fall into the same category.
    May 20, 2018 3
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      So you are denying findings from scientific studies as “bs psycho babble”?
      May 20, 2018
    • Microsoft HomeAlone
      But global warming is real because of the science. These people cherry pick the science they want to believe.
      May 20, 2018
    • Apple / Other Tres comas
      First rule of science is that no theory is never proven, only supported. You can find studies that support either side of any argument. What differs is your own ability to look into these studies and see if it was even a legitimate experiment. There are studies that show children who play violent video games express more aggressive behavior. However, the researchers never looked into what kind of home life the kids came from, cultural differences, behavior before the study, other media exposure, and a number of the variables that can influence children behavior. If there is a correlation, is it weak, medium or strong correlation? What does the APA say about the study? Do other professionals agree or disagree with findings?
      May 31, 2018
  • Adobe / Eng
    abcdxyz123

    Adobe Eng

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    abcdxyz123more
    Social media has given rise to “hot democracy”, one where communication happens at a lightening speed. News propagates faster than we have ever seen before.
    Hence you see rate of school shootings go up, time to organize a rally is drastically down. Mobilizing public opinion on a particular issue is much easier. Think how much time it would have taken for something like #metoo in a pre-socialmedia world.

    To curb the harmful effects of some of these “new possibilities” we need regulation. We can’t outlaw the whole social media itself - that’s like rejecting progress. But law&order and the socioeconomic machinery of modern society needs to be on top of this.

    It’s a challenge.
    May 19, 2018 3
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

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      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      How do you even start to address this without trampling on people’s rights?
      May 19, 2018
    • Adobe / Eng
      abcdxyz123

      Adobe Eng

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      abcdxyz123more
      Rights will be trampled for sure. Just watch “Anon” movie. Granted it’s fiction, but makes you think.
      May 19, 2018
    • Adobe / Eng
      abcdxyz123

      Adobe Eng

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      abcdxyz123more
      “When anything is free, your freedom is the price!! “

      Desmond Tutu once said, “When the Missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, "let us pray". We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.

      Like wise, when social networking came, they had the WhatsApp and Facebook, and we had the freedom. They said it’s free. We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had WhatsApp and Facebook, and they had our freedom.

      When anything is free, your freedom is the Price.
      May 20, 2018
  • Facebook WcPb65
    I’m sorry but this is such a case of cherry picking and only focusing on the negative side of social media. What about the positives that it brings to people? Such as the joy of finding and connecting with friends that you have not spoken to in years, or staying in touch with family and friends because of long distance, or quickly drive up advocacy for something you are passionate about. Ultimately it’s about how one uses social media responsibly to not cause addiction/depression/harm. This is very different (and unfairly compared) than cigarettes or drugs, which I cannot think of any positive test cases for.

    Perhaps alcohol is a better comparison.... use it irresponsibly and it can lead to addictions or deaths, but if used correctly (and it does by most people), it lightens moods, brings friends together, and even has some health benefits (red wine for example)
    May 20, 2018 1
    • Thumbtack / Eng Jf5zkdjsj
      OP
      There’s positive use cases of cigarettes and drugs too (lightens mood, temporarily relieves stress etc).

      It’s because social media is addiction forming and harmful in the long term, especially for teenagers, we should be concerned. When you do studies like this, you find many young people obsessively using social media, but with a largely negative effect on their well being. You can see in the study that there are indeed positive effects as well, but the negatives are very concerning and prevalent.
      May 20, 2018
  • Snapchat Uewr00
    What an incredibly stupid thread. Just really dumb.
    May 20, 2018 0

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