YouTube star Hank Green's predictions about the future of the internet

Hank Green talks about the responsibility of having a platform and whether the internet's future is utopian or dystopian.

YouTube star Hank Green's predictions about the future of the internet


Are the screens, technology, and apps of the internet good or bad?

This podcast examines the effects of screens in our minds and lives with a particular focus on young people and social media.

Hank Green is one of the people who has a front row seat to the internet revolution. Green, a science communicator and author, got his start on YouTube in 2007. This was two years after the first YouTube video was uploaded. It was also a few years before the terms 'content creator' or 'influencer' were used in our vocabulary.

YouTube is today the second most used social media network worldwide after Facebook. It's estimated that YouTube has more than 2.5 billion monthly users who collectively view more than 1,000,000 hours of video each day.

Green continues to receive a portion of this bounty. He has been seen in educational YouTube videos with his brother John Green (best-selling author). Some of these videos are also shown in schools across the country.

Green replied that the question of good or bad internet is like asking if a hammer was good or not. It all depends on how you use it. You use it to build a home or to slap someone in the face.

Perhaps it's more like a printing press.

Green stated that he thinks a lot about printing presses, pointing out its importance in the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s. "Suddenly, people who disagreed with the Catholic Church were able to say that they thought you were wrong and we will share that information. We will be more adept at it than you and more agile than you.

It was a messy, messy period. He said that it was very difficult and many people died. However, nobody believes we shouldn't own books. We have figured out how books can be beneficial for society without being destructive.

Green stated that the church should not have been given so much power back then. He stated that he needed to shift into a world with more individual agency. "And I believe we're having it now. This isn't a conversation about screen time and young people. It's about all of us, in the society that we live in now.

Green stated that many social media companies are aware of the social implications of their actions. He said, "But most importantly, the thing we're okay with is: Ok, you have this technology. Use it as you like, and make as many money as possible, because that's what that makes sense."

"We haven’t really thought about how we can do it in a way which is really socially-beneficial. We haven’t considered how to make the tool work best for humans and provide the best outcomes for them. It's complicated and scary.

Gupta and Green have a conversation about the future of the internet, how it will be managed, and how they deal with trolls. Find out why Green is so mad about the internet.