By B.N. Frank
There has been A LOT of finger pointing at the Tech Industry for manufacturing and marketing products that have led to digital addiction especially in regard to children: “Is the Tech Industry to Digital Addiction What the Pharmaceutical Industry Has Been to Opioid Addiction? Apple Investors, Former Tech Employees Make Accusations, Demand Change.”
What keeps being emphasized is that highly paid Tech Industry employees have been restricting how much their own children use these same products – even sending them to expensive “low tech” private schools.
All the while they have been making boatloads of money promoting these same products as being safe as well as necessary educational tools so that everyone else will buy them. This includes public school systems that have been raising taxes to provide these same products for students to use in and out of the classroom so they won’t be “deprived” of getting a “high tech” education necessary to survive and thrive in the future.
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Even PBS has promoted these products as being beneficial and educational on “Sesame Street”.
No longer being able to dismiss increasing public outcry, Apple and the rest of the Tech Industry Gang has admitted that digital addiction associated with their products is something that they plan to quickly address and remedy.
But still – everybody’s gotta eat, right?
So The Tech Industry is now promoting different products they feel will be beneficial, educational, and necessary for all of us – especially children. “As Apple gets slammed for addictive smartphones, experts are optimistic about the Amazon Echo and Google Home”
The last paragraph in this article includes statements made about these other products by Dr. David Greenfield, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction:
They haven’t been out long enough yet — I think the jury’s still out on them,…
But I do think the screened versions of them have potential to be addictive. So far, any internet based technology does appear to have addictive potential.
In a nutshell – there is no guarantee that these other products being promoted will not be addictive or less addictive to children or anyone else. Thanks a lot, Tech Industry.
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Which leads us back to The Tobacco Industry otherwise known as “Big Tobacco”…
Let’s face it – The public never really won The “War on Tobacco.” We’ve won some battles along the way.
- They started manufacturing and marketing “safer” cigarettes which were “filtered,” “light,” and “low tar.”
- Cigarette vending machines were eliminated from establishments where anyone under age could freely enter and purchase cigarettes.
- Laws were passed that made it eventually so pretty much everyone and their grandma was going to be carded when buying tobacco products.
- Employers were given permission to discriminate and not hire tobacco users.
- Insurance companies were given permission to charge higher premiums for tobacco users.
- Smoking sections were no longer allowed on airplanes.
Anyone who didn’t grow up while all of this was happening might find it hard to believe that Big Tobacco was allowed to get away with so much for so long.
Big Tobacco may have been in the doghouse for the last couple of decades – at least in the U.S., so they increased their marketing campaigns overseas and this has paid off handsomely in countries like China.
Taking lemons and turning it into lemonade, Big Tobacco even got in the business of manufacturing and marketing “smoking cessation products.” These have done really well in the U.S.
It doesn’t end there, though. Announced in July 2017: “Tobacco companies diversify into ‘pharmaceuticals.”
Everybody’s gotta eat, right? It was announced in November 2017 that for the last 11 years, Big Tobacco has being paying lawyers to delay a court ordered ad campaign to “tell the truth” about their products: “Big Tobacco finally tells the truth in court-ordered ad campaign.”
Well played, Big Tobacco. Well played.
Bringing it back to The Tech Industry, they aren’t going anywhere either.
Maybe like Big Tobacco, they will also diversify and also get into the pharmaceutical industry.
Silly me – they already have: “Coming Next: Using an App as Prescribed.”
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Movie: Thank You For Smoking
Top image credit: Pixabay