Organized by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, nineteen groups, including Common Sense Media and Public Citizen, have signed a letter to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg that will be sent on Tuesday. The initiative is the latest example of critics opposing early adoption of digital technology and is playing out amid a broader backlash against the rising influence of Silicon Valley.
The signatories said children are not prepared for online relationships and lack an understanding of privacy and the appropriateness of sharing texts, pictures and videos. Citing research that suggests a link between social media use and higher rates of depression among teens, the letter states it would be irresponsible for Facebook to expose preschool-aged children to a similar service. In addition, the signatories expressed concerns over boosting the screen time of young children and said this would interfere with crucial developmental skills such as reading human emotion, delaying gratification and engaging with the physical world."
During the past year, I've done several reviews of papers submitted to journals that examined smartphone addiction among young adults. The studies were conducted in different countries. The wireless industry claims to have sold more than one billion smartphones last year. Thus smartphone addiction is quickly becoming a global public health issue.
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, March 5, 2015
To see recent research on addiction to smart phones,
social media and internet gaming: http://bit.ly/addictionsaferemr
Eric Andrew-Gee, The Globe and Mail, Jan 6, 2018.
Helping teens turn off in a world that's 'always on': The links between technology and depression
Cellphone usage is the new smoking. It's time to follow France's example and stamp it out
Diane Francis, Financial Post, Dec 22, 2017
Phones in schools could be banned for public health reasons in France
Does smartphone addiction show up in teen’s brains?
Smartphone addiction could be changing your brain
Brit McCandless, CBS 60 Minutes, April 9, 2017
Jane E. Brody, New York Times, July 6, 2015
Smartphones are addictive and should carry health warning, say academics
Haroon Siddique, The Guardian, Mar 4, 2015
Smartphone addiction: Tips for breaking free of compulsive smartphone use