In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Gaia Bernstein. She is a law professor, Co-Director of the Institute for Privacy Protection, and Co-Director of the Gibbons Institute for Law Science and Technology at the Seton Hall University School of Law. She writes, teaches, and lectures at the intersection of law, technology, health, and privacy.
Her forthcoming book, Unwired: Gaining Control Over Addictive Technologies shatters the illusion that we can control how much time we spend on our screens by resorting to self-help measures.
Our society has a technology problem because of how addictive it is, causing mental health issues for its users, especially children and young adults. The tech industry is manipulating us to spend much more time connected than we intended, while they are making money by harvesting our data and our time. Gaia compares the tobacco industry and tech companies, and how they use similar strategies and addictive measures to keep their customers engaged. She suggests that regulations should be applied to regain control, protect users and prevent addiction.
Questions I ask Gaia Bernstein:
- [00:52] There are many books talking about how we need to be unwired, what are you kind of hoping to add to that collection of warning books?
- [02:48] The book’s first part is about the idea of taking back control. Do we first have to understand that before applying any kind of measures?
- [04:48] Is there something evil going on here?
- [05:45] Is it intentional manipulation?
- [06:40] So there are some suggestions that some of the current state of mental health in certain countries, the state of political environments, and the state of cultural and social changes can be linked to these new norms. Would you suggest that there’s something to that?
- [08:25] People aren’t aware of some of the addictive behaviors around online gaming, I think particularly it would be pretty alarming, wouldn’t it?
- [11:56] You make some parallels to the tobacco industry, which was found to do everything they could to make their product more addictive and this brought some regulations. Are you suggesting that that’s where we’re headed here?
- [16:50] Are there other countries that have embraced these changes or measures and are really running down the track pretty quickly on reigning this in?
- [19:18] At what point does private enterprise get overregulated?
- [20:34] Who is in charge of making this changes happen?
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