A Reader Responds to Digital Addiction

After reading my latest rant on digital addiction, Adrik Ivanov writes:


I have seen your parenting column on your blog and I have some suggestions. I think that you should be concerned that your children are addicted. This will be the first generation to be born with digital devices constantly around them. They will be bombarded with mass amounts of hyper palatable videos from TikTok and such. The internet is currently designed to be as addicting as possible and will change your children.

I’m not trying to be alarmist, but this technology is going to fundamentally change the fabric of our society. It’s concerning, and no you are not alone in your concerns. Why do you think billionaires are trying to limit their child’s screen time? It’s because they know that they have created a monster.

For your kids, I think you should intervene. Be gentle but firm, enforce screen time and such measures. If they cry, do not waver in your conviction. If they get bullied for not interacting with the latest TikTok trend of the day, support them. I know it’s hard, but by letting your children do whatever they want, you could expose them to the Pandora’s Box of the algorithm. It will get worse, much worse.

I hope this doesn’t sound too conspiratorial or “i-know-what’s-best-for-your-kid” karen type. I’m worried about the future. My cousin has always glued herself to her phone, and I’m not really better.

From an emailer in Vietnam

Adrik Ivanov