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Mark Zuckerberg’s 2020 resolution: No more annual goals

This year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he resolved not to set an annual resolution.

It’s a departure from an annual tradition that Zuckerberg started in 2009 when he announced his goal for the year on Facebook: to wear a tie to work every day to show just how serious he was about Facebook’s growth. In subsequent years, he committed to developing a slew of other hobbies and habits for the following 365 days, including running and reading more.

But just over a decade later, Zuckerberg has bigger things to think about than his work wardrobe. That has been evident in his more recent annual goals: “fixing” Facebook by addressing issues around elections and privacy, among others, in 2018 and launching public discussions about the role of technology in society in 2019.

For 2020 — in light of the major challenges facing the social media company in the coming decade — Mark Zuckerberg said he has decided not to set a yearly goal at all. Instead, he wants to take a “longer term focus.”

“Rather than having year-to-year challenges, I’ve tried to think about what I hope the world and my life will look in 2030 so I can make sure I’m focusing on those things,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Zuckerberg said that by then, if all goes to plan, his eldest daughter will be in high school. (She made Zuckerberg a first time father in 2016, the same year he aimed to run a mile a day and develop his own artificial intelligence system).

He also said he hopes that within the next decade, augmented and virtual reality technologies the company is working on today will be so highly developed that people could feel like they’re in the room with someone else — even if they’re actually miles apart.

“The ability to be ‘present’ anywhere will also help us address some of the biggest social issues of our day — like ballooning housing costs and inequality of opportunity by geography,” he said. “Today, many people feel like they have to move to cities because that’s where the jobs are … Imagine if you could live anywhere you chose and access any job anywhere else. If we deliver on what we’re building, this should be much closer to reality by 2030.”

Zuckerberg will also be thinking about how to govern massive digital platforms like Facebook, which has a daily average user count of nearly five times the population of the United States. He’s also considering how governments should regulate free speech, privacy and data usage on the internet. The company had a bruising few years of scandals related to such issues, which included having its platform co-opted by trolls for election interference and facing backlash for allowing politicians to lie in advertisements.

Other areas of focus, he said, will be continuing to invest in curing diseases through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the nonprofit Zuckerberg runs with his wife Priscilla Chan, and improving upon private interactions on social media.

With the annual goal tradition coming to an end, here’s a look back at Zuckerberg’s resolutions over the past decade:

2009: Wear a tie to work every day

2010: Learn Mandarin

2011: Only eat animals that he’d hunted and killed himself

2012: Code every day

2013: Meet one new person who doesn’t work at Facebook every day

2014: Write at least one thank-you note every day

2015: Read a new book every other week

2016: Run one mile a day and develop an AI system to help run his life

2017: Visit every US state

2018: “Fix” Facebook

2019: Host a series of discussions about the role of technology in society

CNN

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