You have to imagine a glass of wine that fills up from the bottom without you ever noticing it. This is how Aza Raskin talks about scrolling. This engineer in Silicon Valley knows the subject well, and for good reason: it was he who, more than fifteen years ago, had the idea of this slight finger movement that allows us to scroll through content on our smartphone indefinitely. . This invention has been the subject of many studies. It has been proven that the seemingly innocuous gesture provokes an addictive reflex. As long as a platform adds a high-performance algorithm and entertaining content, the user finds himself as if under hypnosis, caught up in his screen. This technique has contributed to the fortune of social networks. Today, it is TikTok that exploits it most effectively. A billion people around the world watch the equivalent of a hundred thousand years of videos on the Chinese platform every day! In France, half of 8 to 11 year olds are enrolled.
It is a political affair of the first order. Education, mental health, data protection, pluralism, disinformation, sovereignty: the areas on which TikTok has an impact are multiple. Not to mention the immense ecological waste linked to the congestion of servers and bandwidth by content that is most often inept. It would be devastating to be fooled by fashion effects and youthism. TikTok, it is our children who talk about it best: one of the teenagers met by La Croix compares his withdrawal from the platform to quitting smoking. It is fortunate that the Senate has decided to take up the problem by creating a commission of inquiry. At this level of influence and with regard to its youth, the community is entitled to expect precise answers or, failing that, vigorous action from the legislator.