The Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, has contacted the people responsible for TikTok, Meta, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ to discuss the effects and consequences of certain aspects of the design of these digital platforms, “especially on the mental health of the population”. Young man is falling on health.
Some of the messages Minister Garzón sent to these platforms are that techniques such as the infinite “scroll” of videos, for example, “promote the continuous release of dopamine in the user’s body, altering their reward system, and behavior.” can induce compulsive behaviors that can be considered medically addictive.
For the person in charge of consumption, these are the “same” mechanisms that operate in so-called addictions without substances, such as games of chance and instant bets.
Furthermore, Garzón warns that all of this “makes it difficult for young people to adequately develop their cognitive abilities or learn to manage frustration and emotions”, because in his opinion, the platforms’ design creates a “disconnection from reality”. encourage them and have few tools to control and limit their use”.
Among the damages caused to the mental health of users of these platforms, the minister has highlighted “anxiety, depression, loneliness, low self-esteem or sleep disorders” when contacted by those responsible for this platform. For all these reasons, the minister will meet “as soon as possible” with those responsible for the above-mentioned platforms “to advance safeguards against the harmful effects that their uncontrolled use could cause in the most vulnerable populations”. “
“We are not talking about a technical problem, we are talking about a technical design problem of certain platforms of some social networks, which are specifically designed to keep us in use of that application for as long as possible.” are designed for,” Garzón said in a statement to the media.
To do this, as he said, these platforms use techniques “such as the use of algorithms or a succession of videos that are engaging” to the brain. “They achieve their goal, which is to keep us as long as possible,” he warned.
As Garzón assures, during the past few years, “the scientific evidence of serious and dire consequences, especially for minors, has been abundant.” “Ultimately this leads us to a phenomenon we already know as addictions without substance,” he said.
“We have contacted the main tech companies that own the most used social networks in our country, in order to inform them about the consequences of the compulsory use of these types of tools on the entire population, especially on minors and young people. Express your concern about” , Garzón concluded.