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Americans are going to ban building a business based on Internet addiction

25.09.2019 Author: Psychologist Pavel Khoroshutin
fight against internet addiction

In the United States, at the legislative level, elected representatives are worried about the tricks of web giants that cause Internet addiction and dependence on social networks. Endless scrolling, automatic video playback, and fast loading of dynamic content are now prohibited.

Recently, the US Senate introduced The Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Actin order to prevent:

  • endless scrolling;
  • news feed autoload;
  • no stopping point;
  • automatic playback, etc.

To understand how these tools form addiction, let’s look at the behavioral website design. This is associated with usability and easy access to information. Our brains are wired so that we love everything new and unknown. When we read a book or watch a TV series, we can’t wait to find out what will happen next, and how it will end. When we easily and quickly get what we want, we feel satisfied.

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This behavioral feature is actively used on the Internet to attract visitors and customers. As a result, sites generate an endless stream of information, from which it is very difficult to break free. Few people can say “Stop!” in time, put down their phone or leave the computer. Daily prolonged stays on the network cause Internet addiction, and real life is replaced by the virtual.

This problem is so acute that US senators propose to prohibit operators of social networks from using the physiological and behavioral characteristics of the human body to attract and retain users. These operators will also be obliged to take measures to prevent the development of Internet addiction.