Finally a Bill that would Limit Big Tech’s Incredible Ability to Get You and Your Kids Addicted to Your Electronic Screens

Finally, a smart Senator, Senator Josh Hawley, introduced a bill to limit Big Tech’s sneaky techniques to get you and your children addicted to your electronic screen.

I suspect the Senator and Big Tech do not realize the extent of the devastation of this addiction as the addiction is so severe, many people, particularly kids have rewired their brain to “ignore blinking cues,” among many other systemic side effects, such as increased poor-sleep patterns, anxiety, depression, suicidal-ideation-at-the-thought-of-my-parents-taking-away-my-cell-phone.

The brain is literally so focused, the eyes forget to blink. Its as if the eyes are truly glued to the screen, in some cases, as the eyes are so dry.

Hopefully, this will make an immediate impact and more electronic screens will be REMOVED from schools. That is a big step and heresy in the education world. But the devastation of excessive electronic screen use is important to quantify and discuss. What is wrong with going back to the textbooks many of us grew up with for our kids: nothing!



The Full Bill:

Discussion of the Bill:

The news: One of Big Tech’s most vocal critics in the US Congress has introduced a bill to limit social-media companies’ ability to use design features like infinite scrolling, video autoplay, and achievement badges (like “power user”). Under Senator Josh Hawley’s Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act, companies would instead have to build features that let users set limits on how long they’ve been glued to the screen.
The bill directly references Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube but would apply to any platform where users interact with third-party content (with exceptions for, say, music playlists). It would give the Federal Trade Commission power to punish companies that didn’t comply. The FTC, along with the Department of Health and Human Services, would also have the power to write new rules to regulate similar, but not-yet-invented, design tactics.
The background: In recent years, there has been growing concern that companies design products to keep users coming back—and that, once hooked, users are miserable. Study after study suggests that these platforms can lead to social isolation and depression (though other researchers say the real effects are not nearly so dire). 
All this has led to a lot of soul-searching. Ex-Googler Tristan Harris has argued that technology has caused a public health crisis and runs a nonprofit that hopes to undo the damage. Google itself now offers a suite of digital well-being tools to help users “find a balance with technology.” Apple’s ScreenTime lets people set daily limits.  
Why it matters: Hawley, a Republican, has made a name for himself by arguing that relying on the goodwill of these companies isn’t enough. He’s also the author of a bill that would give the government power to police Twitter for political bias, and has introduced legislation to protect children’s data privacy. Another bill of his, introduced in May, tackles the addictive features of video games. Whether these bills make progress will show how much momentum is building in Washington for the view that the government needs to step in to curb Big Tech.
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