tiny, junkie consumers: your kids are addicts by design

Customize and send your letter to Congress today. Use your voice!


With the rollercoaster of covid restrictions forcing much of life online over the past two years, the traditional American childhood died a sudden death. Instead, children are spending more time than ever online, and Big Tech providers want to make sure they can continue exploiting their most vulnerable market. 

Congress must immediately enact legislation to hold hardware and software manufacturers accountable for business practices that endanger children!

According to a study in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine in 2017, published in the National Institute of Health, entitled Technology Addiction among Treatment Seekers for Psychological Problems: Implication for Screening in Mental Health Setting:

  • “Public health concerns are emerging concerning the propensity of compulsive Internet use developing into pathological behaviors. 
  • About 20% and 33% of Internet users engage in some form of online sexual activity.
  • Nearly 80% of online gamers are losing out at least one element of their lives, such as sleep, work, education, socializing with friends, family, and interaction with a partner. The younger the players, the longer the time they dedicated to playing online games, leading to further functional impairment in their lifestyle.
  • The excessive use is also associated with the presence of psychological problems.
  • Poor coping and cognitive expectations also mediate the development of the excessive use of internet if other risk factors are present such as depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, low self-efficacy, and high stress.
  • Depression, social phobia, hostility, and symptoms of ADHD are seen as comorbid condition to problematic internet use.”

This study looked at adults. Now consider the same stimuli on a developing child’s brain – which continues to develop until age 25. Now consider that these technologies are addictive by design. 

According to a report from MorningStar in 2019, “These technology companies have a vested interest in keeping users glued to their screen. Industry veterans…have publicly spoken out in recent years and argue that companies incentivize employees to design features that increase time spent by users on their products. Push notifications, auto play, streaks, and infinite scroll are identified as specific features designed to increase time spent by individual users.”

To be clear, the technology companies know they are hurting kids. They don’t care. 

They are taking a page from Big Pharma’s playbook and prioritizing profits over the future of multiple generations – all future generations if we don’t stop this! 

They know they are making your kids addicts – it’s very profitable.

The Department of Justice is certainly aware of kids being threatened online – though they don’t mention kids being threatened just by being online. From their website:

“Kids should talk with a trusted adult so they understand online risks, only chat with people they know, ensure their online accounts are private, block people they don’t know or trust, and trust their instinct—if something makes them feel uncomfortable, tell a trusted adult about it. Kids and parents should stay alert—people aren’t always who they seem in online environments where identity is easy to fake. Stay safe at home. Stay safe online. To report an online child sexual exploitation offense, call 911 or go to report.cybertip.org.”

You hear that? “Kids get online and be safe.” Their warning does not include cautions against technology addiction. How about, “Kids go outside and play”? 

No, they want your kids online. They care about your kids’ safety, except when that safety would impact the margins of their donors; or, as we discussed Sunday, except when child safety would impact the transnational child organ trade; or, as we discussed yesterday, except when child safety hurts a pedophiles’ feelings. 

There is much to demand relative to Big Tech – Private Data Ownership, Freedom from Censorship, Dissolution of Platform Protections for Publishers. But none of these is more important than protecting our children from predatory business practices designed to make them customers for life.

DEMAND FOR REMEDY: Congress must immediately enact legislation to hold hardware and software manufacturers accountable for business practices that endanger children!

If we allow technology companies to manipulate the brains of our children without penalty, future generations will cry out, “Where were the adults in the room?”

Future generations are already crying out for too many reasons. They want us to believe we cannot stop their progress. Is that true?

Stand up and stand in the gap for our children today!

Fax Congress and demand Big Tech Accountability!


Here is today’s letter to Congress.

ATTENTION CONGRESS:
According to a study in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine in 2017, published in the National Institute of Health, entitled Technology Addiction among Treatment Seekers for Psychological Problems: Implication for Screening in Mental Health Setting:

  • “Public health concerns are emerging concerning the propensity of compulsive Internet use developing into pathological behaviors. 
  • About 20% and 33% of Internet users engage in some form of online sexual activity.
  • Nearly 80% of online gamers are losing out at least one element of their lives, such as sleep, work, education, socializing with friends, family, and interaction with a partner. The younger the players, the longer the time they dedicated to playing online games, leading to further functional impairment in their lifestyle.
  • The excessive use is also associated with the presence of psychological problems.
  • Poor coping and cognitive expectations also mediate the development of the excessive use of internet if other risk factors are present such as depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, low self-efficacy, and high stress.
  • Depression, social phobia, hostility, and symptoms of ADHD are seen as comorbid condition to problematic internet use.”

This study looked at adults. Now consider the same stimuli on a developing child’s brain. Now consider that these technologies are addictive by design. 

According to a report from MorningStar in 2019, “These technology companies have a vested interest in keeping users glued to their screen. Industry veterans…have publicly spoken out in recent years and argue that companies incentivize employees to design features that increase time spent by users on their products. Push notifications, auto play, streaks, and infinite scroll are identified as specific features designed to increase time spent by individual users.”

To be clear, the technology companies know they are hurting kids. They don’t care. They are taking a page from Big Pharma’s playbook and prioritizing profits over the future of multiple generations.

From all appearances, it seems YOU don’t care either. All government guidance focuses on kids being safe while online – but not about getting kids offline. Rather, school and church and friends are now online, and you keep incentivizing these continues to make the problem worse.

You care about our kids’ safety, except when that safety would impact the margins of your donors, right?

There is much to demand relative to Big Tech – Private Data Ownership, Freedom from Censorship, Dissolution of Platform Protections for Publishers. But none of these is more important than protecting our children from predatory business practices designed to make them customers for life. 

DEMAND FOR REMEDY: Congress must immediately enact legislation to hold hardware and software manufacturers accountable for business practices that endanger children!

If we allow technology companies to manipulate the brains of our children without penalty, future generations will cry out, “Where were the adults in the room?”

Future generations are already crying out for too many reasons. 

Stand up and stand in the gap for our children today!

Fax Congress and demand Big Tech Accountability!


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