European Union considering proposal to make phone apps less addictive

The European Union is considering a proposal that would force tech companies to make their apps less addictive.

Member of the European Parliament Kim van Sparrentak has brought forward the initiative in an effort to protect consumers against the addictive elements of smartphone apps.

The draft report states that many online services are designed to keep users on the platform as much as possible, which seems to be working as 16-24 year olds on average spend about seven hours a day on the internet.

Another worrying development Ms van Sparrentak mentions in the draft report is that one in four children and young people display ‘problematic’ or ‘dysfunctional’ smartphone use.

Ms van Sparrentak told Dutch newspaper AD that the apps are hard to resist.

“No self-discipline can compete with the tricks of big tech companies, which employ armies of psychologists,” she said.

“Why do we still accept that?” 

Here are some of the features the proposal is hoping to restrict. 

Ending the ‘infinite scroll’

One of the most addictive design features in apps is called the “infinite scroll”. This means that users can keep scrolling through content continuously, with no end in sight.