The fact of the matter is that the success of a social platform is measured in engagement. In the context of your comment, it’s not a stretch to view engagement as “addiction” because it’s the goal of these platforms to get users coming back time and time again. If a user feels as though they cannot go a day without being on a particular social platform then said platform has achieved its goal.

Regardless of how you describe this behaviour, whether or not it’s ethical to push such a platform is a modern philosophical debate. It’s clear that certain tech providers acknowledge people’s concerns here, recently seen with the inclusion of screen time analytics across iOS and Android. Yet with the ease and freedom to access social media, I think the issue is less with the technology and more with the education of its users. That responsibility rests with everyone connected, from the architects of the software to our schools and the parents of kids using social media. Like anything, if we are taught at a young age to use technology responsibly, then society as a whole will react. Unfortunately when parents use technology (like social media) as a distraction for their kids, it breeds the worst types of habits, most of which extend into our adult lives.

In terms of whether we can create a better platform, I am at a loss as to how you would create a successful social platform that doesn’t bread this type of behaviour. If it’s “just as good” then it’s likely to be just as “addictive”.

A better question would probably be can you create a more ethical system, one where you take responsibility of your users time. The answer is of course yes but in the world we live in, if you put restrictions on a successful platform, somebody less ethical will just come along, copy your concept and launch without any restrictions.

That why’s for me it all comes down to education…

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