Sloooooow tech.
Sloooooow tech. iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Plenty of people have written about the psychological and intellectual benefits of slowing down their own techno-consumption.

But maybe it's time for the speed merchants at the helm of Big Tech to decide that they, too, want to be part of slowing our collective roll? That, at least, is the suggestion from Nicole Wong, who's worked as a lawyer for Google and Twitter and also served as Chief Technology Officer for the US federal government during the Obama administration.

On a recent Recode Decode podcast, Wong described an earlier phase of the Internet—call it the Dawn of Search era—as being focused on making products that were "comprehensive, relevant and fast."

Then came social media, advertising that's targeted based on users' online behavior, and the "personalization" era.

That, Wong told Recode, basically got us a very fast means of asking people: "What’s more stuff that you like?"

Without thinking much about it, we soon became very good at giving that stuff to people super fast—whether that stuff be "news" that's really just opinio-tainment meant to reconfirm one's algorithmically-detected biases or a new, sparkly fidget spinner that someone determined you wanted by mining your digital consumer data.

“What if we change the pillars again?” Wong asks. “What if we say, ‘That’s not the internet we want to live with’? What if the pillars were accuracy, authenticity and context?”

Not a bad idea!