Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block
Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and
imposed limits on his use of Facebook.
Rosenstein purchased a new iPhone and instructed his assistant to set up
a parental-control feature to prevent him from downloading any apps.
He was particularly aware of the allure of Facebook “likes”, which he
describes as “bright dings of pseudo-pleasure” that can be as hollow as
they are seductive. And Rosenstein should know: he was the Facebook
engineer who created the “like” button in the first place.
A decade after he stayed up all night coding a prototype of what was
then called an “awesome” button, Rosenstein belongs to a small but
growing band of Silicon Valley
heretics who complain about the rise of the so-called “attention
economy”: an internet shaped around the demands of an advertising