The Tech Industry’s War on Kids

My article, “The Tech Industry’s War on Kids,” reveals a dark secret: psychology—a discipline that we associate with healing—is now used as a weapon against children.

Unbeknownst to but a few, tech makers use powerful psychological manipulation tools to pull kids away from the real world to instead live their lives on phones, social media, and video games. The results are tragic for this generation of children and teens.

I’m hopeful that this commentary will initiate important changes to help our kids. Please consider sharing it with your networks.

Photo: Donald lain Smith/Blend Images/Getty Images
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  1. saj Real says:

    Thank you for your nice post. Keep it up.

  2. Thank you for your work on this subject. As a child and family psychologist with 4 kids, and as a consultant to corporations, I also struggle with the ethics and morality of these issues. What is the answer? Candidly, it cannot be that we expect the APA to solve it. My experience is that APA is limited even in its ability to manage its own organization, much less shepherd the country through this technological revolution. Have you experienced APA differently? Have I missed something? Because clearly, we need a potent and sustainable and smart effort, if we are
    going to survive this Tech revolution. I hope I don’t sound critical — I’m honestly looking for how to help push forward a real way to help humanity cope with this crisis. Mahalo from Hawaii, Heather Wittenberg, PsyD

    • Richard Freed says:

      Thank you Heather. Yes, I don’t think this can be fully solved just by the APA, but I feel the organization could really make a strong showing by educating the public about the power of these techniques to shape and detract from a healthy childhood. I think that would be so powerful and be of tremendous value to both the public and the APA itself for taking a strong stance on this. And, I struggle, as I ask myself, “If not the APA, then who will step up for this generation of kids?” I think the problems our kids face are poised to get worse, not better, unless action is taken, so I hope we can figure this out together. Best to you, Richard

  3. Stéph says:

    Just read your article in French on
    So interesting and true, The teacher of my child, who’s ten, told me that this year, he had to resolve problems related to social media each week before starting class. In a class of 30 kids, more than a half had a cell phone and social medias like musically, whatsapp and so on… Kids were fighting in class regarding what they said, wrote or read on social medias about their classmate. And when the teacher asks the parents for a meeting regarding their kid’s problem, the parents denied it each time. It’s urgent if not too late, to inform and educate parents first !!!

    • Richard Freed says:

      Thank you so much for the message, and I’m happy it was able to make it to France. I agree with your suggestion that it’s so important for both schools to parents to work together on this issue for kids. Best to you, Richard

  4. Barbara Brock says:

    Wonderful work, Richard. I was at the Childhood Screentime conference in Boston with you and saw how profoundly this work affects you. THANK YOU for taking this issue so seriously and sharing it with the world. I am using parts of your article for a session I am doing on Digital Detoxing at the Washington State Seniors Conference this week. Keep up the amazing work. BARB BROCK

    • Richard Freed says:


      It was great to meet you as well. And thank you for the comment, I spend a lot of time trying to make sense of all this, and it really helps to get feedback such as yours. Good luck with the conference.


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