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Are Americans finally turning on tech?

Remember when Google was new? Its motto was, “Don’t Be Evil.” Facebook promised to bring people together. Twitter was the medium of revolutions. Amazon made it easy to buy anything you need. Tesla promised an electric car utopia. Cities would fight to have tech companies move their headquarters there, hoping they would bring tremendous wealth and prosperity.

That’s no longer the attitude, though. Americans seem to be getting increasingly fed up with the tech industry. With the way that companies bulldoze anything in their path under the guise of progress but really to line their own pockets, with the rich 20-somethings who gentrify once cool cities beyond all recognition, and with the seemingly inescapable grasp of technology.

Tech’s Impact on Mental Health

According to a recent Independent article, social media technology has six major impacts our mental health. It harms our self-esteem, it weakens our connections to other humans, we lose out on having real experiences because we’re busy posting them on our social media, we sacrifice our sleep to browse a bit longer, and it shortens our attention span. We also posted about how the internet, and social media in particular, is making us violent.  Psychologists and other scientists have been warning us of the downsides of technology for humans for some time, but recent events seem to be adding fuel to the fire.

Amazon’s Headquarters Catastrophe/Con job

Parks and Rec’s final season dealt with the issue of tech companies’ headquarters disrupting towns. For a quick reminder:

It looks like reality is starting to match fiction. The Guardian published an opinion piece entitled “Dear Amazon, New York Doesn’t Want You. Go Find Another City to Destroy:”

New York is a metropolis. It has been able to withstand centuries’ worth of threats to civic harmony, from the Five Points gangs to the administration of Rudy Giuliani. We have successfully absorbed striving immigrants from around the world, weekend partiers from Jersey, and post-college seekers from the midwest. But one thing that New York City has never truly had to battle is a massive influx of rich techies

Other outlets published even harsher criticism. Scott Galloway, host of Pivot, says that the headquarters contest was no contest at all, but a con: “This was never a contest. It was a con meant to induce ridiculous terms that they then took to the cites all along that they knew they were going to be in.”

According to CNN, progressive groups are turning on Amazon. They’ve compared Amazon to a company infamous for horrible treatment of employees: Walmart.

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  • Daniel

    Is this an article about Americans turning on tech or tech *companies*? There’s a pretty stark difference, and I don’t necessarily see the page turning on the former. The latter, yes, maybe. But the movement away from technology and social media seems to be a small, slow moving one.