Aug. 16, 2023 – China wants to limit screen time to 40 minutes for children aged under eight, while the U.S. state of Utah has imposed a digital curfew for minors and parental consent to use social media. France has targeted manufacturers, requiring them to install a parental control system that can be activated when their device is turned on.

The EU has its own sweeping plans. It’s taking bold steps with its Digital Services Act (DSA) that, from the end of this month, will force the biggest online platforms — TikTok, Facebook, Youtube — to open up their systems to scrutiny by the European Commission and prove that they’re doing their best to make sure their products aren’t harming kids. 

The penalty for non-compliance? A hefty fine of up to six percent of companies’ global annual revenue. 


The exact link between social media use and teen mental health is debated. 

These digital giants make their money from catching your attention and holding on to it as long as possible, raking in advertisers’ dollars in the process. And they’re pros at it: endless scrolling combined with the periodic, but unpredictable, feedback from likes or notifications, dole out hits of stimulation that mimic the effect of slot machines on our brains’ wiring.