Letters to the Editor: We need to fight social media addiction like we fought smoking

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To the editor: Social media is designed to be addictive. Shouldn’t we also consider the very real possibility that it has also been deliberately constructed to keep people lonely, ensuring that its users will come back again and again in a devastatingly futile attempt to fill a void that can never be satisfied with mere likes or emojis? (“There’s a loneliness crisis on college campuses,” Opinion, July 14)

Online giants are not only stealing everyone’s time and energy, they steal people’s ability to connect in a meaningful way, the very thing these platforms were ostensibly created to facilitate.

Just as smoking used to be viewed as not only safe but healthy thanks to the clever wiles of the tobacco industry — taking decades to reeducate the public on its hazards — a major public service initiative needs to be enacted to inform people (especially the vulnerable younger generation, who did not have the freedom to grow up without a constant virtual barrage) about the emotional dangers of spending one’s life online.

Generations from now, assuming anyone has bothered to meet up and procreate, obsessive social media usage will be seen as a plague on the early 21st century that was (knock on wood) quelled just in time.


Phoebe Millerwhite, Claremont


To the editor: “Primal scream opportunities”? A “full-time wellness dog”? What a pathetic picture of college life USC religious life dean Varun Soni paints as he provides yet more evidence that we need to completely reevaluate the role that college plays in our society.

College students are adults, should conduct themselves like adults, and should be treated like adults, not children. The purpose of college should be to provide a setting for young adults to pursue a rigorous course of study, broaden their knowledge and prepare for a career.

Everything else should be cut out, admissions and tuition reduced accordingly, and trade and vocational schools expanded at the high school level to insure that every high school graduate who is not meant for college is ready to make a good living.

Robert Rakauskas, Winnetka