Is Your Child Dependent on Technology? Silicon Valley Group Warns Parents of the Possible Dangers - NBC Bay Area
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Is Your Child Dependent on Technology? Silicon Valley Group Warns Parents of the Possible Dangers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kids Hooked on Tech? Group Warns Parents of Possible Dangers

    A group of Silicon Valley business leaders are joining forces to challenge tech giants to build less addictive smartphones, tablets and social networks. Marianne Favro reports.

    (Published Monday, Feb. 5, 2018)

    A group of Silicon Valley business leaders are joining forces to challenge tech giants to build less addictive smartphones, tablets and social networks. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit media watchdog group, is also joining efforts to educate parents and kids about the dangers of technology.

    Ellen Middaugh, a San Jose State University assistant professor of child development, said technology can interfere with a child's daily life and can develop an emotional dependency.

    In response, former employees at Facebook, Google and other high-tech giants have created the Center for Humane Technology and are joining forces with Common Sense Media in San Francisco to fight tech addiction. The group is challenging tech companies to rethink strategies that get users hooked.

    "The longer we stay online the more clicks companies get and the more money tech companies make," said Colby Zintl, Common Sense Media vice president of external affairs. "So we think it's a flawed design and we want them to do something that is more human focused."

    Krista Pavlakos, a San Jose mother of two, has a suggestion.

    "Have an auto shut off and only parents have the password to reset," she said. "I think that's an excellent idea."

    The truth about the tech campaign is holding a conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to talk about solutions. Organizers have already poured millions of dollars into educating parents and teachers about the dangers of technology and efforts to get the government to fund more research into technology addiction.

    But some critics said getting your kids hooked on technology is just too lucrative to convince tech companies to change their ways.

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