A new Silicon Valley trend: disconnecting from social media


What does it say about the culture we’re currently living in that several of the key people who created the ‘like’ button for Facebook are now disengaging from social media?

The Guardian published a thought-provoking piece this weekend about how some people in Silicon Valley are rearing back from the culture they helped to create.

Justin Rosenstein is one of them: his all-night coding session led to Facebook’s ‘like’ button, but now he describes social-networking notifications as “bright dings of pseudo-pleasure” and has parental controls installed on his iPhone barring him from downloading new apps.

His former colleague Leah Pearlman was also a key figure in the team that created the ‘like’ button, but according to the Guardian has now “installed a web browser plug-in to eradicate her Facebook news feed, and hired a social media manager to monitor her Facebook page so that she doesn’t have to”.

The full piece is worth reading, but here’s a zinger of a summary:

“It is revealing that many of these younger technologists are weaning themselves off their own products, sending their children to elite Silicon Valley schools where iPhones, iPads and even laptops are banned,” explained the Guardian.

“They appear to be abiding by a Biggie Smalls lyric from their own youth about the perils of dealing crack cocaine: never get high on your own supply.”

Stuart Dredge

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