By Thierry Malleret, economist
By Thierry Malleret, economist

Monthly Barometer

AI’s move to center stage was one of the most notable things of 2017. 2018 will see it engulf our personal and professional lives. This is reflected in the rise of the US Faamgs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google: worth $3 trillion between them and up 63% this year) and the Chinese Bats (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent: worth $900 billion and up 80%). They epitomize a world of capitalism without capital, in which intangible assets create the most value. Unlike a piece of land or a factory, the value of intangible assets is hard to measure for it lies purely in ‘expectations’. This makes them prone to asset bubbles. 

Wellness Edition: 

The strong backlash that has been brewing against the large tech companies like those cited above will gain strength in 2018, emphasizing the symmetrical need of leading a “well” life. The Monthly Barometer predicts that, following former Facebook employees Sean Parker and Chamath Palihapitiya, who denounced the addictive and toxic properties of social media, more tech workers will speak out, encouraging an increasing number of people to fight digital addiction. Concerns about the negative impact of tech on mental health will come to the fore. Although not becoming out and out technophobes, an increasing number of people will begin to acknowledge that technology often (contrary to the previously widely held perception) has a negative impact on our efficiency while also making us unwell.

One thought on “MONTHLY BAROMETER – WELLNESS EDITION: 2018 Trend: Backlash Against Big Tech Companies & Addictive Social Media”

  1. AGREED! I stopped using social media last year and have been thrilled to finally have my life back. I found it provided me with a false sense of connection, when in fact, it was an excuse to space out and disconnect from those around me. I’m also alarmed about the rate at which we are being tracked on these major sites. These large companies may look like they are making money on products, but in fact they are making money in selling our private data to advertisers. That may all seem harmless, as most of us have nothing to hide, but when you consider that there are allegations regarding the US elections being hacked by foreign countries, who knows who can get their hands on our private information and for what purpose. We are living in times of the great technology experiment, with both positives and negatives and I’m not surprised that people are starting to pull away. I have, and it feels amazing.

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