Is Snapchat addicting? Do you participate in ‘Snapstreaks‘? Or, perhaps you take part in endless scrolling. Well, a U.S. Senator may have something to do about it. A new bill introducing the ban of ‘Snapstreaks’ has been presented. Furthermore, he wants to limit all social media usage across the board.
For one thing, Senator Josh Hawley is leading the bill. Notably, this initiative is part of his “Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act”. His goal is to ban “addictive and deceptive techniques” by social media companies. Ultimately, he wants to ban auto-scroll, and even limit users time. Hawley expects users to spend a maximum of 30 minutes on social media with the new initiative. Indeed, the Republican from Missouri is attempting to make social media less addicting. From the Verge, Hawley is quoted saying:
“Too much of the ‘innovation’ in this space is designed not to create better products, but to capture more attention by using psychological tricks that make it difficult to look away.”
Bill Limiting Social Media Usage and ‘Snapstreaks’
In general, the Social Media and Reduction Act isn’t only limiting Snapchat or ‘Snapstreaks’. Namely, Hawley wants all social media platforms to include “natural stopping points”. In particular, hoping to make users less inclined to stay connected and stop scrolling. Furthermore, he wants to remove infinite scrolling. He also thinks limiting users to a 30-day limit will help. Hawley even wants social media companies to make it easier for users to track their usage.
In closing, Snapchat’s number of daily active users is at 203 million. Who knows how the tech giant will respond. With companies like Instagram testing hiding likes, the future of social media seems to be in transition. With the initiative starting in May, Instagram announced they were testing removing the feature. Starting in Canada, the testing is now expanding involving more countries. Currently, the testing includes Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. Perhaps more social media giants will take a step in this direction, and help their users, use less.
The Senator, who takes to twitter quite frequently should maybe think about his own digital presence, and how he benefits before criticizing the usage of it by young people. Tweeting messages and playing into the “psychological tricks” about how unhealthy social media is, isn’t a great look, Mr. Senator.