"We should pay for our social media accounts" TIME ONLINE


Christian Montag is a professor of molecular psychology in Ulm – but lives, as you can see, in Cologne. There was the recording for "Will that what?" instead.
© Max Slobodda for TIME ONLINE

At the bus stop, in the metro, in bed and sometimes even in the bathroom: there is actually a place where we can go smartphone Don't take it with you and scroll through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Is that still healthy – or is it already taking on dependency characteristics? If you take seriously the titles of all the non-fiction books that were last published about the use of smartphone use, it would be a little frightening and frightening: The smartphone epidemic. Take your phone away now!. Finally switch off. How to split it up with your phone

Christian Montag, professor of molecular psychology at the University of Ulm, has also written a book, a science-based rather than an alarmist: Homo Digitalis: smartphones, social networks and the brain, In the new episode of the digital podcast Will that be? Among other things, Montag talks about the ZEIT ONLINE device, with which we sometimes spend more time than with our best friends. Two and a half hours of using a smartphone a day is fairly average among younger people, Montag says. He himself, who is researching the addictive nature of people and the impact of digital technologies on us, returns to this on the screen during the podcast interview: the iPhone reported about two hours and 26 minutes a day.

The pure screen time, however, is not a sufficient criterion for the question whether one has a dubious handling, not only with his mobile phone, but also with the online person, says Monday. One must ask: how much of this is professional, can it be avoided badly? How much is communication with friends, which is usually good for us? Is there control over the use of the mobile phone? So you know you hang around too much on social media platforms, but you can't hide it? And does this behavior noticeably influence one's own daily life?

Is that really a dependence?

What many like to call smartphone or online addiction has so far been neither officially recognized as a dependency nor has it been researched adequately. The World Health Organization recently included only excessive computer use as a behavioral disorder in its diagnostic catalog. But that does not mean, according to Montag, that social media platforms in particular have no addictive potential. Their app architectures are built so that people stay in them for as long as possible and leave as much data as possible, which is then evaluated for personalized advertisements. As long as the business model is transferred from Facebook and Instagram stay that way, these companies would have no reason to change it.

In fact, we have to pay for our social media accounts, "Montag says. Companies would in turn have to" build apps that are less addictive and process our data in ways that aren't used for micro-targeting. " , much of the communication is going on Facebook and Instagram "really just a show-off: it's about promoting myself, presenting myself, photoshopping – presenting my better self there". This also leads to shady pages & # 39; s: "For example, those young girls on Instagram are confronted with physical ideals that don't match reality." That could possibly feed nutritional disorders.

Christian Montag also says that parents should not buy their own toys too quickly, taking into account possible effects of smartphone use. Twelve years are a good age. Before that time, children should at most be allowed to use smartphones or tablets together with their parents, such as every now and then The broadcast with the mouse look.

And what, the personality researcher says Monday, should children do instead? Go outside and play. They didn't need digital devices, not even toys – the children just needed each other.

You can contact us by mail