The conversation about kids and technology is changing, with more and more focus on the unfair psychological tactics that tech companies use to keep kids using their products. As psychologist Dr. Richard Freed wrote this week,
Clandestine techniques that manipulate users to fulfill a profit motive are regarded by programmers as “dark design.” Why would firms resort to such tactics? As former tech executive Bill Davidow says in his Atlantic article “Exploiting the Neuroscience of Internet Addiction,” “The leaders of Internet companies face an interesting, if also morally questionable, imperative: either they hijack neuroscience to gain market share and make large profits, or they let competitors do that and run away with the market.”
There are few industries as cutthroat and unregulated as Silicon Valley. Social media and video game companies believe they are compelled to use persuasive technology in the arms race for attention, profits, and survival. Children’s well-being is not part of the decision calculus.
This April, the Children’s Screen Time Action Network Conference will bring together Dr. Freed and other leading experts for critical conversations about persuasive design, addictive technologies, and holding tech companies accountable for their impact on children’s health.
Join us to shape this crucial dialogue and help kids get the offline, commercial-free time they need to thrive.