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Why a $95 million bill to study tech’s effects on kids might actually pass this time

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Why a $95 million bill to study tech's effects on kids might actually pass this time
Congress wants to spend $95 million to study how gadgets and social media affects children.

Why a $95 million bill to study tech's effects on kids might actually pass this time

 

The bill is not new. Back in 2004, then-Sen. Joseph Lieberman wanted to study the effects of electronic media on the youth. It fizzled out. The same thing happened when a version of the bill was introduced again in 2007 — just a few months before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone.

Fast-forward to 2018. Now, it seems like there are iPhones in every pocket. Parents use iPads to stop their 2-year-olds from whining. People are a lot more concerned about what exposure to screens and social media is doing to impressionable young minds.

The bill would set aside funding for the National Institutes of Health to research the effects of technology and media on everyone from babies to young adults.

This includes mobile devices, computers, social media, apps, websites, TV, movies, AI, video games, and virtual and augmented reality.

Now that it’s 2018, more and more kids are exposed and even addicted to tech. Companies have been forced to apologize for it. Parenting increasingly involves establishing rules and guidelines for using devices.

So maybe this time around, Congress can finally agree we need to do more to understand how technology hurts and helps children.