Rather too much of politics works upon the following lines. Something must be done, this is something, therefore we must do this. Good and hard.
Whether something must be done isn’t considered enough, the viability of what will be done is rarely considered at all and that’s how we end up with the modern world we have:
Teenagers’ social media usage will be limited to no more than a few hours browsing under new proposals outlined by ministers, it has emerged.
Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said there was a “genuine concern” about how long young people were spending online.
He suggested the Government would be looking to tackle worries over the negative impact this might have on children’s health, amid widespread concerns that spending hours on end on social media can affect their psychological well-being.
Given that teenagers, having grown up with these varied computers and technologies that so baffle those rich in maturity, will be around any controls in less time than Matt Hancock can Tweet something it’s not going to work, is it?
But it’s also not desirable in two manners.
Firstly, limit something to teenagers and they’ll want more of it. This is something the chocolate manufacturers learnt a century and more back. Peeps working in a choccy bar factory will eat the choccy bars. That is, after all, why they’re being made, because peeps like to eat them. You could, obviously, try to hire only those who don’t like the stuff. Or those so filled with restraint that they’d ignore a free selection from the thousands running down a production line and actually buy their own later.
Or, what has traditionally been done, insist that they can have as many, free and gratis, as they like while still within the factory. And then watch as they gorge themselves for three days and stop. We know this is how it works out as the incidence of pimpled whales in choccy factory workers is no higher than that in the general population. Well, that around Brum perhaps so don’t take that to be entirely representative of Britain.
Secondly – and candidly – let us assume that social media consumption is dangerous or harmful to those budding intellects. We’d like them to gorge on it then limit consumption, wouldn’t we? Back to our chocco workers then.
But, you know, government, do something, this is something. We should not be so negative though, should we? It is not on for us to always and entirely be Negative Nellies – despite the most useful function of political discussion being to insist that no one should be doing that damn fool thing – so a positive suggestion.
Let us improve the psychological well-being of the children of today. In order to make a better world for tomorrow, of course. Abolish grievance studies, that’ll do it.