I was intrigued by another post recently discussing theand the point that although they are pushing against platform capitalism, they are still very much in favour of the templated self.
Insider attacks, cell-site simulators, SIM-swap attacks, thriving markets in super-cheap, fine-grained location data, robocalls, fictitious coverage maps, and more: does the fact that all this terrible shit keeps happening, and only gets worse, mean that mobile companies and the FCC just don’t give a fuck if your mobile phone is a crime wave you carry around with you on your pocket?
When we see media stories about children who have been exploited or suffered abuse as a result of engaging with the online world – all parents shudder. These stories provoke our worst fears and elevate our concern about the dangers of the internet.
- Be inquisitive about your child’s digital life
- Be a part of your child’s digital life
- Model the behaviours you expect
This reminds me of a post from danah boyd discussing the fear of digital addiction. She suggests:
- Verbalize what you’re doing with your phone
- Create a household contract
Banning mobile phones in school may seem sensible, but research and similar moves elsewhere suggest a blanket ban may introduce some problems.
There has been some other interesting responses to this announcement on Twitter, including:
Might as well ban the toilets, playground, school, local parks, shopping centres and friends….. all can be potentials for bullying
— johnqgoh (@johnqgoh) June 26, 2019
Mobile phones are tools for learning. Educating young people about using them safely is good policy – banning them is not.
— Greg Whitby (@gregwhitby) June 26, 2019
I’ll need more money to enforce any ban! Another DP – phones.
— Anncaro1 (@Anncaro11) June 26, 2019
Here's a thought – if banning phones is the answer, then pass a law that makes it illegal to give or to buy one for a child U18. If you really believe the device is the issue – be consistent. You'll have to ban smartwatches, ipads etc too, of course – you can't dam half a river.
— Dr Briony Scott (@BrionyScott) June 26, 2019
OMG is this really the answer? Big Brother says no to technology rather than teaching students how to use a potentially powerful resource responsibly. Surely a school communities choice not the rule for government. https://t.co/3fwCXIBRT6
— Peter Hutton (@EdRev) June 25, 2019
People should realise that perspectives are broad and approaches differ. @DETVic is responsible for this great digital learning project! However, no kids will be playing Minecraft AR in school next year – you need a mobile device. https://t.co/nlvDKUsW2x
— Dan Donahoo (@ddonahoo) June 27, 2019
— Marco Cimino (@MrMCimino) June 28, 2019
In an extended piece associated with The Project, Jane Caro questions the support that schools will be given and negative culture it creates. She also wonders if staff will also put their devices away too?
Of course, foldable displays won’t be limited to devices we carry in our pockets. We’re going to see them pretty much everywhere — round our wrists, as part of our clothes, and eventually as ‘wallpaper’ in our houses. Eventually there won’t be a surface on the planet that won’t also potentially be a screen.
If your phone gets in the way of whoever and whatever is important to you, don’t accept the compromise. Take matters into your own hands and design the phone you want.
- Decide WHY you want more attention.
- Set expectations.
- Delete social media apps.
- Delete news apps.
- Delete streaming video apps and games.
- Remove web browsers.
- Delete email and other “productivity” messaging apps.
The thing that bugs me is why it is the responsibility of the user to consciously choose to turn off distractions? Imagine if when setting up our devices we were asked which ‘distractions’ we want activated? I agree with Geert Lovink that sadly this is a battle we have lost, so the question is what now.
Both of these pieces managed to capture something that has left me feeling uneasy of late. I am not adverse to devices and technology, but wonder where the conversation is associated with it all? That was the point in my post on being informed. The latest ‘black box’ is the introduction of the smart speaker into the classroom. The discussion seems to be about what it might afford, with little consideration of any other implications.
My wondering is whether turning off the behavioral aspects is enough or if the devices are in fact tainted to the core? This is something that I touched on in my response to Dai Barnes.
Journalism can hand-wring, divide parents from each other, and cast technology as the heart of darkness. Or it can help shed light on a serious issue that I know lots of families are struggling to get right.
The parent who compares digital media to “crack cocaine” allows his kids to use it regularly, which is probably not what he would do with crack cocaine. (He also uses software to track his children online.)
Also, it is not productive to perpetuate extremes as they are not sustainable. For more on Kamenetz work watch her conversation with Mimi Ito.
I feel we’re knee-deep in developments happening around the area that can broadly considered ‘notification literacy’. There’s an element of technical understanding involved here, but on a social level it could be construed as walking the line between hypocrisy and protecting one’s own interests.
It feels like there has been so much written about phones lately. I have been sitting with my thoughts for a while and decided to let them go.
Would love any thoughts. Really feel like I am missing something or maybe it is just complicated.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to the phone number, start with something more easily replaceable. Hardjono suggests, for example, that smartphones could generate unique identifiers by combing a user’s phone number and the IMEI device ID number assigned to every smartphone. That number would be valid for the life of the device, and would naturally change whenever you got a new phone. If you needed to change it for whatever reason, you could do so with relative ease. Under that system, you could continue to give out their phone number without worrying about what else it might affect.
After a single decade little more remains in our pockets and purses than the snacks, the breath mints and the lip-balm.
Adam Greenfield ‘Radical Technologies’
By changing the approach, and importantly changing our language around technology we reframe the conversation and the connection with have with young people. If we want them to reach out to trusted adults, seek support and report incidents of cyber hate, bullying or violent extremism then we must take time to build meaningful programs that address the skills required. There is no quick fix. There are no apps or software programs that can take away all the risks and insert these skills into peer groups. We need to invest time and energy to developing authentic programs that address the complex interaction between the online and the offline worlds and our relationships within them. These are human problems, which need considered human solutions.
I was supposed to speak to a reporter today about iPhones and addiction, but the interview fell through. I jotted down some of my thoughts in preparation for the call, and I thought I’d post them here in case it’s a topic I decide to return to and flesh out more in the future…