Ben Pring

Taming Social Media – Before It Eats Us Alive

Category: Culture and Society

Ben Pring
Nov 5, 2020 at 8 AM (EST)

Social media has become one of the biggest snafus in human history.

Democratic institutions are being fatally undermined. Long held conventions of privacy and courtesy are melting away. Increases in aggression, depression, and self-harm are off the charts. The tech “rock stars” behind the phenomena are being exposed as nothing more than the latest digital robber barons. 
 
To start to address the damage being wrought by social media, I propose the following;
 
Prohibit use of social media by people under the age of 18 and establish Social Media User License legislation.
 
Akin to automobiles, weapons, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, marriage, and military service, social media should have a lower age entry barrier. And, similar to driver’s education for cars, before being allowed to use social media at age 18, individuals should receive training and instruction on its safe operation, leading up to being granted a (revokable) user’s license.
 
Tame social media and it can evolve to be a useful and interesting means of communication and expression. Fail to grapple with its dark side though, and social media will propel us further into a world no sane rational person will want to live in.

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