In the new episode of our weekly podcast Lever Time, David Sirota sits down with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) for a wide-ranging interview. They discuss the proposed debt ceiling deal and whether Democrats could have done more to stop Republicans from holding the U.S. economy hostage.

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They also discuss Murphy’s key legislative focus: social media’s harmful effects on Americans, particularly children, and what can be done to stop it.

According to a survey by Common Sense Media, teenagers report spending nearly nine hours every day in front of screens, 38 percent of kids ages eight to twelve say they use social media, and more than 60 percent report trying and failing to quit social media. All of these findings are possible signs of dependency and addiction. Social media companies won’t address this problem on their own, since their business model is predicated on keeping users scrolling as long as possible.

That’s why Sen. Murphy, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, recently proposed the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act, legislation that would limit some of the most harmful aspects of social media from endangering America’s children. David speaks with Sen. Murphy about his proposal, and the larger issues of social isolation and depression plaguing Americans.

A transcript of this episode is available here.


BONUS PREMIUM POD: Last Monday’s bonus episode of Lever Time Premium, exclusively for The Lever’s supporting subscribers, included David’s interview with political theorist Adolph Reed Jr. about his new book No Politics But Class Politics.

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