Is the company’s new app for kids a boon for parents, or a pipeline for engaging new Facebook users?
In some ways, 2017 feels like the year people began to realize the harm that seemingly harmless technology can do. Misinformation spread like rapid fire, abetted by platforms like Google and Facebook. Research on smartphone usage among teenagers suggested mobile phones are impacting the mental health of an entire generation. Once heralded as the goal of good design, user-friendliness came to mean something different in 2017. Sticky UX tactics, like the constant ping of notifications or “pull to refresh,” were revealed as physiologically manipulative. Ethicists and some designers are calling for a more conscientious way forward. Even tech titans are pausing to ask, “what did we bring to the world?”