Above: Cigarette butts. Credit: Public domain.
Instagram is addictive. Alcohol is addictive. Alcohol has to carry health warnings on the bottle. Fixed-odds gambling machines are addictive and the proprietors are thus obliged to display numerous visual and in-play warnings about the hazards of gambling. ("When the Fun Stops. Stop!") It has become commonplace to say that posting-a-photo-and-checking-likes on Instagram gives the user a "dopamine hit" --the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure-and-craving. It seems this addictive quality of social media was recognized by the software developers fairly early on (just as those in the tobacco industry were always well aware of the harmful effects of cigarettes). Logically, it follows that warning messages concerning social media addiction should be in place: but they aren't. They are not even being discussed, yet.
(26 January 2018)