Recently, like many people, I watched 'The Social Dilemma' on Netflix, and I was struck by how candid and seemingly honest they were in the interviews (I say seemingly because I'm sure they were required to hold some information back).
If you haven't yet seen this documentary, I implore you to watch it - it explains the problems in the industry, particularly with social media, very well.
Was I very surprised by what I learned from watching it? No - however it did bring a lot of thoughts into my mind.
Why was mental health not taken more seriously?
Why are we not talking about it more now that we are starting to see the addictive qualities of social media and other tech?
What can we do about it?
What will be the long term dangers for people who are already feeling the affect of their social media use?
What happens to the 7 year old child who has grown up on instagram and already has deep set anxieties about themselves, caused by the content that they are viewing online? What will happen to their mental state when they are adults?
For the first time, we are raising a generation of people who have had access to this technology for their entire lives. I'm 27, I remember playing outside with friends when I was younger, riding on our bikes and splashing through mud. I remember getting my first mobile phone (a Nokia 3310, obvs) and being so excited because it meant that I would be able to go to the corner shop on my own. I was 10. All I could do on that phone was call and text my mum, and play Snake.
Now, you see 5 and 6 year olds glued to their iPhones and iPads, screaming if their parent takes the game away. At that age, I'd hope that they don't have social media, but they are still experiencing some sort of addiction to the games on the phone. Is it the bright lights, the haptics, the addictive nature of the game itself?
The thing is; we don't know.
This generation of children are going to be the first in history to have this technology for their whole lives.
Maybe as they grow older they'll grow out of it. Maybe they'll be able to moderate their tech and media use. Maybe there'll be better awareness of problems that tech addiction can cause and there'll be help available.
Or maybe it'll cause no problem at all.
The point is that we just don't know
Relative to the history of humanity, tech is incredibly young and I wonder what will happen in the next 5, 10 or 15 years.
Tech moves quickly, the rate of progression is incredible and great - I am well aware of the advancements in medicine, amongst other things - that have been made thanks to technology.
Let's not let it get away from us...