"Your kids aren't weak-willed..."
“Your kid is not weak-willed because he can’t get off his phone... Your kid’s brain is being engineered to get him to stay on his phone.” says Ramsay Brown a neuroscientist and co-founder of the artificial intelligence/machine learning company Boundless Mind.
Game makers and social media engineers know what they’re doing. When we think that our kids have no self control and need to learn discipline, take a look at how technology has “controlled” you as well and remember that these things were created by persuasive design.
So what can we do?
You can join the Children’s Screen Time Action Network effort to encourage the American Psychological Association (APA) “to call on psychologists and the tech industry to disclose their use of psychological persuasion, especially in digital products used by children. And we ask that the APA issue a formal public statement condemning psychologists’ role in designing persuasive technologies that increase children’s time spent on digital devices, as screen overuse poses risks to kids’ emotional well-being and academic success. Finally, the APA will benefit this generation of children by leading the charge to educate families about the negative effects of persuasive design and the potential for harm with device overuse.
“Add your name to the effort calling on the APA to address psychological manipulation in tech products used by kids, which you can view and sign here. By taking action, you will encourage the APA to fulfill its duty to protect children and families. You will also send a clear message that psychologists and their powerful tools should be dedicated to advancing, not detracting from, children’s health and well-being.”
What else can we do for our friends and family?
For help with fostering family connection and school success see Wired Child.
For help with practical ways to return to natural play, visit screenfreeparenting.com.
For help reversing the effects of screen time see Reset Your Child's Brain.