Smartphones are turning our kids into anxious and depressed zombies. Parents can’t compete – we need to help people take control and make smartphone use healthy and productive. Asking technology companies to regulate themselves is unfeasible – they will always want to maximize engagement regardless of the social impact. Government must provide guardrails to keep technology from corroding our mental and emotional well-being, particularly for young people. I love my smartphone too but we need to get a grip on the impact of this technology for the sake of our children.
Problems to be Solved
- New technologies are developing and being adopted throughout society faster than we can understand their repercussions
- Smartphones are having an untold impact on our children that will affect them throughout their lifetimes
As President, I will…
- Create a Department of the Attention Economy that focuses specifically on smartphones and social media, gaming and chat apps and how to responsibly design and use them, including age restrictions and guidelines.
- Create a “best practices” design philosophy for the industry to minimize the antisocial impacts of these technologies on children who are using them. Ask Tristan Harris to lead.
- Direct the Department to investigate the regulation of certain companies and apps. Many of these companies essentially function as public utilities and news sources – we used to regulate broadcast networks and newspapers and phone companies. We need to do the same thing to Facebook, Twitter, Snap and other companies now that they are the primary ways people both receive information and communicate with each other.