Evgeny Morozov on the “Mindfulness Racket” happening in the tech industry.
We must subject social media to the kind of scrutiny that has been applied to the design of gambling machines in Las Vegas casinos. As Natasha Dow Schüll shows in her excellent book Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, while casino operators want us to think that addiction is the result of our moral failings or some biological imbalance, they themselves are to blame for designing gambling machines in a way that feeds addiction. With social media—much like with gambling machines or fast food—our addiction is manufactured, not natural.
I’m all for people being mindful and good mental health in general, but the way people in tech talk about it drips with insincerity and hypocrisy. And stupidity. Mostly stupidity. It’s all tied to the self-help ethos being perpetuated by designers and developers who keep calling themselves “writers” while tweeting bullshit aphorisms about “creativity” and blogging career advice that amounts to “Just go make something, man.”