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In their new book “Big Tech Tyrants,” Floyd Brown, publisher of The Western Journal, and Todd Cefaratti, political activist and senior consultant for Liftable Media, Inc., challenge the powerful influence tech companies like Facebook, Google and Apple have had on our society for over a decade.
Not only are these authors concerned about the impact tech companies are having on the American people’s right to free speech, but they are also troubled by the effect social media has had on the country’s children.
In the book, which was released on Sept. 3, Brown and Cefaratti highlight just how addictive social media has become, the heartbreaking realities that have come as a result of teens’ addiction and other dangers associated with early social media use.
According to several studies mentioned in “Big Tech Tyrants,” heavy use of technology and social media forms addictive patterns similar to that of drugs.
Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, even associated liking and commenting on a Facebook post to a “little dopamine hit” in 2017, 12 years after he left the prominent social media company.
“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” he said, according to an Axios article referenced in the book.
“It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Even big names in technology such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs restrict their children’s technology use, which Brown and Cefaratti claim shows these leaders are aware of the damage that too much technology can cause despite their continued contribution to the problem.
After exploring the addictive behaviors associated with technology use, the two authors pose a harrowing yet important question: “When every online action is designed to get a reaction, how do issues of self-esteem, narcissism, anxiety, and authenticity play out for today’s teens?”
Lack of sleep, loneliness, bullying and mental health issues such as depression and suicide have all seen a considerable increase since technology has moved toward center stage in our society, according to several studies cited in the book.
Maybe one of the most distressing aftereffects mentioned above is the relationship between social media and suicidal thoughts.
Brown and Cefaratti point out while suicide has been an issue long before technology as we know it existed, suicidal thoughts can be caused by different stresses in life. Pointing to the correlation between social media use and an increase in depressive thoughts, the authors claim that some of these stressors can be attributed to the platforms themselves.
“Does that mean society should accept these stressors as something we can do nothing about?” they asked in the book. “Or perhaps the stress agents should be treated like the accessories to murder they may well be?”
Another threat that teens face as they navigate technology use is something that all users face: loss of privacy.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act prohibits companies from collecting personal information of children under the age of 13, explaining the age minimum these companies have set for account holders.
Brown and Cefaratti, however, point out how easy it is for children to use a false birth date, opening themselves up to targeted advertisements, identify theft and predators. It’s so easy in fact, that they call it literal “child’s play.”
After considering the effects tech companies have had on adolescents’ mental health and privacy the biggest question is “What is the solution?” Brown and Cefaratti hope that “Big Tech Tyrants” is a step toward finding that solution by expressing the need for “simple accountability.”
Click here to order your copy of this powerful new book and learn the truth about Silicon Valley’s relentless power.
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