Your favourite addictive smartphone apps could be banned in the Netherlands

No more doomscrolling.

Ah, is there anything better than ending a long day by scrolling through social media? Before you know it, you’ve forgotten the day’s worries — and aimlessly jumped between apps for three hours straight. Oops.

If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then you may be falling victim to the addictive designs and techniques used by manufacturers to make smartphones and apps addictive. 📱

And you’re not alone: Research shows that 1 in 4 young people struggle with smartphone addiction. This must be fought, says the European Parliament.

The Parliament has spoken

In a parliamentary debate, a large majority voted in favour of a proposal made by Dutch politician Kim van Sparrentak.

The proposal aims to curb smartphone addiction by banning the addictive features and manipulative algorithms that have people glued to their screens for hours at a time.

Van Sparrentak tells RTL Nieuws that “if we don’t intervene now, [phone addiction] will have an effect on people’s mental health and even brain development of the generations of the future”.

What does this mean?

The next step will be for the European Commission to draft a bill that will lay out techniques that may be used to reduce Europe’s constant scrolling.

Possible features include a ban on addictive design features, such as continuous scrolling features and automatic video playback. Another option would be to have attention-seeking features such as notifications deactivated by default.

This means that our favourite apps, such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, soon may be no more — at least not in the way we know them.

What do you think about this plan to combat phone addiction in Europe? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Say 'hoi' to Lyna, our Senior Writer at DutchReview! Fueled by a love for writing, social media, and all things Dutch, she joined the DR family in 2022. Since making the Netherlands her home in 2018, she has collected a BA in English Literature & Society (Hons.) and an RMA in Arts, Literature and Media (Hons.). Even though she grew up just a few hours away from the Netherlands, Lyna remains captivated by the guttural language, quirky culture, and questionable foods that make the Netherlands so wonderfully Dutch.
  1. TikTok should be outright banned regardless of this measure, it’s nothing more than a tool of the Chinese Communist Party! The USE and Possession of any smartphone should be Banned for all persons younger than 18 (ideally 21). For those under 18, ONLY a phone that can send/receive voice calls (like a telephone).


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