The Tech Industry's War on Kids
In this article for Medium, child and adolescent psychologist Richard Freed explains how a “virtually unrecognized merger between the tech industry and psychology” is “reshaping childhood” and tearing families apart. Chronicling how this alliance of psychology and tech came about, Freed describes the rise of “persuasive technology,” which pulls users into their devices and away from the real world. Because their brains are still developing, persuasive design techniques are especially effective with children.
Noting that most parents aren’t aware of how persuasive design exploits children’s psychological vulnerabilities, Freed calls for transparency. He asks important moral questions about using these techniques, and he recommends regulating their use with children. He specifically calls on the psychology profession to lead the way by making a public statement against the “exploitive use of persuasive design.”
Richard Freed, Ph.D., is a child and adolescent psychologist and a leading authority on raising children in the digital age. Dr. Freed is the author of the book Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age, is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and has been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, on NPR, and other media platforms. He speaks internationally to parents, teachers, and health care providers on how to promote children’s well-being in this age of machines. To learn more, visit RichardFreed.com