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Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

The Drug on Your Phone

It’s past time for legislative solutions to our collective social media addiction.

A,Girl,Looking,At,A,Smartphone,App,With,Zero,Likes.
(Lilanakani/Shutterstock)

By all accounts, Selena Rodriguez brought joy to those around her. The Enfield, Connecticut, native, known as Beena to her friends and family, loved to sing, dance, and make people laugh. 

She also loved to share her talents with those further afield. By the time she was nine, Beena had developed a robust online presence, posting constantly on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. What may have started as a way to connect with real life friends soon took on a life of its own. Fueled by lockdown-induced isolation during the Covid response, Beena spent even more time on Instagram and Snapchat. Before long, this social media use morphed into an addiction. Beena became so dependent on the platforms that she once ran away from home when her mother tried to confiscate her devices.