For the sake of the next generations, we have to quickly regulate the platform business model which is based on collecting our personal data to predict our behaviors.
Behind the scenes, we see the complexity of our identities being reduced into a sum of simplified binary alghoritmic recommendations. As collateral damages, the current system breaks the coherence of our minds, pollutes our inner space and reduces our critical thinking skills. The incessant solicitations exploit our psychological vulnerabilities and increasing desire of self-exposition. In particular, the intensive use of social media creates behavioral bias, polarizes opinions, limits the complex subtleties of language, suppresses the vital biodiversity of thought systems and disrupts our individuation process.
American teenagers watch their smartphones more than 2,000 times a day and send 4,000 texts/month or every 6 minutes awake. Globally, we check our phones more than 150 times per day; white collar workers spend a third of their day in emails. Behind our screens, our daily lives are designed by and for the attention economy, depending on the platforms’ choices. For better known addictions, we would probably have talked of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
With the Brain Sustainability program, we advocate for more respectful platform business models based on a genuine Ethics by Design. Moreover, we support education institutions in developing bold critical thinking programs to make sure that next generations acquire the necessary soft skills to become engaged citizens at a global scale.
We believe there are 4 systemic changes that we must achieve to create a more sustainable digital economy:
- Developing the understanding of the attention economy risks
- Promoting Ethics by Design practices and slow web platforms
- Advocating for a “Brain Sustainabilty” Label
- Helping higher education institutions to create critical thinking and ethical reasoning programs
Brain Sustainability is in mirror of our Planet Sustainability. Only when we rehabilitate our cognitive resources, we will be able to find new oxygen zones where everyone can imagine innovative economic and political paradigms for a more sustainable future.