Know your limits… socially

It’s no secret that we love social media.

That’s the reason why we do what we do!

However, we have also talked about how the excessive use of social media platforms might have a negative effect on mental health.

So how can we stop it?

Well, the answer is that we can’t really just “stop” using social media.

This does sound daunting as we probably can’t even imagine a life without it at the moment. Social media has connected the globe in a simple, yet effective way, making its mark in history. The negative effects it can have on our mental health do not diminish its benefits.

However, the figures are worrying:

What’s being done?

On Tuesday, the SMART Act was introduced by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley. This is a new proposed measure to control how much time we spend on social.

The bill looks to prohibit social media companies from using practices that may exploit human psychology. The main aim of the bill is to highlight the importance of freedom of choice by changing a few aspects of social media platforms.

What do they want to change?

One major factor highlighted in the bill is that we tend to spend so much time on social because we can scroll through feeds endlessly. So, one way the bill will tackle this is by adding a “pull to refresh” feature, which gives us the choice to either spend more time on social or put our phones down.

Another example of endless screen-time is seen on YouTube. When you’re done watching a video, the next upload plays automatically without giving you an option.

Tristan Harris, executive director of the Centre for Humane Technology had the perfect analogy for this:

“If I take the bottom out of this glass and I keep refilling the water or the wine, you won’t know when to stop drinking. That’s what happens with infinitely scrolling feeds.”

According to the bill, users will be able to remove any restrictions or implement them as they please, so to ensure their freedom of choice.

So far, the bill is still lacking in co-sponsors and attracting much criticism from Silicon Valley.

Is endless scrolling really the answer to our social media addiction? Is there really an addiction to begin with?

We might be able to get answers once new measures like this are officially put into place.

You can read the full story here.


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