I think it's worth watching, if for no other reason than to see Bowser & Bowser Jr..
iOS app link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1190074407
Play store link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nintendo.z...
For me, the only annoyance is that the controls apply to the entire console, not to individual users of the console. But, that makes sense as things are today, since I don't think there's any way to authenticate individual users every time someone wants to use the console. Also, that may conflict with the way that games stay "running" most of the time, even when you come back to the console later.
iPad games are geared towards button mashing and showing ads for other games that do the exact same thing.
A switch game will be $30-60. An iPad game will be “free”. Subjecting your kids to advertising driven games which aim to have them play much as possible to drive revenues is noticeably different. I’ve taken away the iPad entirely after seeing how my kids respond to it.
Contrast it with the WiiU or Switch that we’ve had and it’s a totally different experience. Right now I TRUST Nintendo with the game experience that’s best for my kids.
The first in-app based game I see is the karaoke one, which is free to download and you pay for eaxh song. That’s reasonable, I’m just noting the mechanism is there.
Then a game like Senran Kagura, centered on boobs (lityeraly, the main gimmick is vibrations from “massages”) also came to the switch, and I can’t remember any IP of this kind up until now on a Nintendo console.
For better or worse, the current Nintendo is much more open and less risk averse than before.
You mean, except the two Senran Kagura games which have already been released for the 3DS?
Watching my kids (4 & 5) play monument valley is a joy. The game costs 5€ and is absolutely worth it.
What kind of research have you done on what's available?
I'm genuinely curious as to what's out there and who's working on things like this.
Right now from WiiU to Switch my impression has been that the entire platform is “kid first”. Online play is chat minimal with only some prescripted text. Friendly characters from the Mario universe with great games built around them like Mario Kart, Mario 3D World or Zelda.
With Zelda I like that my 9 year old is slowly working his way through things that are hard. He’s talking to friends at school about how to work through tougher parts or find secrets.
Probably the thing that I wish was available more than anything was an equivalent to Nintendo Power magazines. Being able to let them read, find secrets, learn about other games, etc from something where I don’t need to worry about parental controls or click to buys would be a relief.
I like giving them to opportunity to find ways through something that is hard but fun. I just don’t want to have to feel like I have to keep looking over their shoulder.
Is curating your kid's apps to only allow such games an option?
The app store is 99% low quality garbage. Sure, you can spend your time and effort searching out the 4-5 high quality gems that may exist and configuring the ipad but it's 10x easier just to buy a Nintendo game and call it a day. Nintendo's first party games are almost always very fun, always high quality, ad free, and always(?) kid friendly. When you buy, for example, a Zelda, Mario, or Kirby title you know exactly what you are going to get. Not all entertainment needs to be "educational" and we are talking about entertainment here.
Surely there are blogger parents who do the work to find decent games for kids, educational or otherwise?
Unfortunately that's a near non-sequitur. For example a "math game" may actually be a crappy button smashing experience that's made to look "educational" in the store. Etc.
As for good games with educational value, I'd point to obvious examples like Kerbal Space Program (makes 12 years old learn the math behind rocketry and orbital dynamics), Minecraft (can make kids learn to program), Zachtronics games like SpaceChem or Shenzhen I/O, and ultimately any narrative-heavy game as a good way for kids from non-English-speaking countries to learn English.
Yeah, basically anything in that category except perhaps for rote memorization of multiplication tables is better done by a human teacher and static quality educational materials.
"Kerbal Space Program (makes 12 years old learn the math behind rocketry and orbital dynamics),"
With a) MSc in physics b) two kids in school c) over 700 hours spent personally in Kerbal I disagree. It does not really teach math and claiming it does is delusional. However, it does give a pretty intuitive introduction into orbital dynamics. It's a fun game. And there's nothing wrong in that category! Fun and games are as important as learning, but these two categories are complementary. Pretending one is the other does not really help anyone.
It's confounding to confuse the two as a parent who has to consider how the kids spend their time (i.e how screen time is rationed). If my kids want to play Kerbal, it's rationed from the "digital games" category and not "educational". For me "educational and character building" category includes stuff like 3D modeling, playing and mixing music, creating stop motion animation, etc. The latter they can do as much as they like.
If you take a look at the community around KSP, you'll find plenty of kids learning math and physics to better understand what their spacecrafts are doing and how to make better ones.
Reminds me of how I learned trigonometry myself - I hated it at school, but learned it immediately - along with basic matrix/vector linear algebra - once I needed it to rotate stuff in a game I was writing.
This brings me to my core issue with edutainment - fake problems. Bite-sized issues designed to "teach" a kid a particular concept, which can be immediately recognized for what they are - school after school. Fake problems are not fun. Meaningful problems - those working within the context of a game world that stands on its own, like "wtf is ∆v, how does it work and how do I ballpark the amount of it in my rocket" - those are fun and motivating.
As a kid, we were limited by technology, so no limits were needed (SMB just wasn’t that replayable, and the TI/99 was even worse). Perhaps the solution to creativity here is to simply give your kids older computers to play with.
I have extended family who have done this, and the difference is palpable.
That’s just how statistics work.
I'm simply concerned about the collective fear parents have of their own children's liberty.
Putting predictable enforced limits goes long way to stop that. It just works and still allows them game time. People tend to relax those rules as kids grow and problems disappear.
I knew multiple people who had trouble later in school because of inability to not play till morning before major test. You really want your child to be able to stop game after a while of playing.
My wife and I foster, so we've spent time parenting a number of children and all do so much better when they have structure and control over their lives. Kids act up when they can't figure out what's going to happen next. But, if you're consistent and structured they are able to relax and get comfort out of knowing what their day will be like. Get into daily routines and do the same things (as much as possible depending on schedule) day in and day out (in the same order if you have toddlers).
Children also need control. Let them pick out their clothes. Let them decide on the sheets for their bed. Give them money to buy their school supplies. Things like that. Make sure they know that you're there to answer questions, but let them succeed ... and fail. But be there.
My kids get aggressive only if I walk in the room, realise they have been watching videos for far too long, and try to take it away. Kind of understandable, if you imagine from their perspective.
They get used to stop playing, they are forced not to treat game as number one priority in life and because they find other things to do with time. And maybe also because they cease to feel entitled to tablet all the time.
It prevents them into getting into habit. And makes it harder to join social groups where your game score is you social standing (thus feeding addiction via social pressure).
Basically, they're forced to learn to never immerse themselves in any activity. I'm not sure it's a good thing to ask for.
At least the clear and predictable rules you describe help some. The kid will know in advance not to immerse themselves, because there isn't enough time. Beats the hell getting into an activity, and then being suddenly dragged out of it.
No, inability to play computer game whole day every day at age of seven will not break your ability to immerse into activity.
Being immersed so much that you don't control yourself and act badly is issue parents need to deal with. If they don't, the older the kid grows the more consequences it has on his or her life. So, yes, it is a good thing.
Even if we are assuming there will be no long term consequences, if the toy causes enough bullshit for the rest familly, parents are entitled to limit it for their own or siblings sake.
That's what we're talking about doing to kids. Kids may not be as smart as adults, but they have feelings and imagination just as much, if not even more than us. Hell, I remember how I myself hated being randomly interrupted at early-teenage years.
> Being immersed so much that you don't control yourself and act badly is issue parents need to deal with.
I'd vote for dealing with it by not putting the kid in that position in the first place. It would be totally understandable of an adult to "behave badly" if the event we're describing happened to them.
> if the toy causes enough bullshit for the rest familly, parents are entitled to limit it for their own or siblings sake
Parents are entitled to everything, but it would be wise of them to realize that any bullshit caused by a toy is of their own making.
Was it restrictive? Incredibly so. But maybe I wouldn't be doing what I do today if it was any different - if my computer access was unlimited and "common" - because it was so restricted I spent an inordinate amount of time preparing for each use which obviously had effects on my entire career later on.
My parents didn't really support my computer endeavors (which distracted from my academics), but on the laptops and PCs I scrounged my computer time was unlimited. Again, not without a great gnashing of teeth and frequent complaints from my parents, but kids will find a way... I recall hours and hours programming graphing calculators (and teachers seizing my calculator for programming in classes not related to math [and even some related])
I learned by spending inordinate amounts of time trying, throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, from Assembly to Game Maker-like programs to C via SDCC for my little graphing calculator. There was little preparation and very few books, and just insane amounts of time on computers.
I had "imposter syndrome" while I was learning, so I always spent time trying to do things "how the professionals" did. I remember trying TDD while I was still in early high school and worshipping XML with nicely made schemas and codegen for my RPC libraries because I thought that's what "real programmers" did. All the time spent doing things like that shaped my ability to pick and choose what "works" and what doesn't in so many other applications today
And as a result today I'm a professional developer who never went to college.
But maybe I wouldn't be doing what I do today if it was any different - if my computer access wasn't unlimited and "common" - because it was so unrestricted I spent an inordinate amount of time programming, which obviously had effects on my entire career later on ;)
Be wary of survivor bias. Not everyone is like you, and not every similar situation is the same.
I grew from my free experience with computers, and I hope every child can have that opportunity.
My parents limited video game time, and I think they were right to do so. I still managed to become a (fairly skilled, I hope) software developer.
I am not totally against parents controlling their children's behavior, but I am wary of how trivial it is to take that to the extreme, without even realizing it, because of a collective fear that is promoted by those around you.
I am quite certain that measures of control over my "computer use" would have been detrimental. It's important to not throw that aside in discussions like this.
For the life of me I can't figure out how these apps make money. They're like flotsam in the Google App store, so they're making money somehow. For all I know they turn on the microphone and send the data to a rogue organization.
This is very different to when I grew up. I had to write my games in Basic (I got them in the back of a catalog!) and I learned how to modify them. I plan on giving her free use of any of my Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, and if she shows interest in those big, expensive RGB LED matrices, I'll buy those for her. She can go nuts with those!
How much restriction?
What aspects of "the industry"?
What sort of experiences might they have missed? Will you ever know?
Well, I know what activities didn't get crowded out by unfettered access to a computer.
It wasn't about a monastic existence, it was just keeping things in balance.
It makes the most sense to me to expand time to use in adolescence, and what can be used in teenage years.
Keep in mind that this isn't just about how good parents can misuse technology in raising their kids. I think people tend to think of "parents" as a group as something different from the individual parents they've actually encountered. A lot of parents are actually pretty terrible, and when we talk about "giving parents tools" we need to keep in mind that we're also empowering those parents.
So while the tendency might be to imagine some wholesome mom who just wants to know her kid isn't playing Murder-Fuck 2018, we should also remember the homophobic dad worried about his son playing a My Little Pony game.
So your comment seems to be based on an impossible premise.
Imagine a similar parental control solution employed on an Android tablet, or a Windows PC. Your kid will learn how to sideload games from friends at school. Where there's a will, there's a way.
B. How would that be an argument against my main point, that new technology is giving parents too much control over their kids' lives?
Still possible outside the home or at school. Borrowing a device from the next door neighbor who could care less about parental controls is one way for kids who are intent on playing a game their peers are raving about.
Then there is the option of using an older (teenage) sibling's device for the same purpose if left lying around in the house.
This episode explores some of the risks that monitoring and censoring children can have on their development and also the effect it can have on the parents themselves.
There are actually people who consider a story like Minority Report not as a cautionary tale but rather as a challenge along the lines of "They just did it wrong in fiction, we can do it better in reality!".
Just like I'm pretty sure there are quite a few parents out there who would watch that BM episode and go "I'd totally put such an implant into my child but I'd do xyz different!".
The moral sounds to me more like: if you keep your innocent child locked away from the world, you might just create a cure for blindness.
If I had children, I would definitely buy a Nintendo Switch for them because of their focus in this aspect. Since I don't have any, I bought the Switch for myself instead. =)
You might consider it an "annoyance" for quite a few other people it's simply yet another sign of Nintendo being stuck somewhere a decade ago.
Every other console manages to allow parental controls on the account level, in addition to having login authentification.
But with the Switch there's nothing like this, in that regard, the "console wide parental controls" feel more like the result of not having individual user login authentification than being an actual "feature".
The lack of login authentication also comes with its very own set of issues: Like Kids playing on their parent's accounts, overwriting their savegame progress or vice versa.
It is my hope that Apple is able to pioneer tools which make it possible to interrupt addiction forming (dark) patterns.
Addressing this on the device/os level (vs possibly legislation) could be very effective.
Right now this is a lawless territory and creating + exploiting addiction at the cost of depleting millions of people’s cognitive resources as free is very profitable.
The long term costs associated with this profit are still to be seen but I am sure they exist.
If we can agree that tobacco and opioids are better kept away from children then we may asking why Facebook, instagram, Snapchat, addictively engineered games are not.
Of course we would also start thinking about sugar and caffeine :)
Are you familiar with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmakon_(philosophy)?
This concept – and Bernard Stiegler's work in general – could really help developers and hackers understand how technology actually affects people.
This is Hacker News. Raise the bar, people. Leave the baseless assertions and hearsay to Reddit. I expect citations in discussions here. In fact I just scrolled through this entire discussion and did not find A SINGLE LINK to outside evidence/data. How do you expect to debate anything with any validity, based on nothing but bullshit?
I think a more cogent response would be "How is smart phone use different than reading a paper or having ones nose buried in a book?" which of course isn't new, but the same physical movement.
To me, rational arguments are the leaps between facts established by evidence, so both are necessary to some degree.
In online conversations devoid of any citation, things seem to far too often veer into wild speculation, unsubstantiated opinion/belief, and most egregious, ad hominem/stereotyping/etc.
I was unaware of the Principle of Charity, thanks for educating me!
But I think what you are getting at is you want data supporting the emergence of a correlation in this new, younger cohort. I'd argue that a close proxy is the introduction of the PC workstation in the 70's and 80's and the "ergonomics" industry that resulted. Seems pretty easy to assume the same dynamics are at play again.
"The result of this study showed that prolonged use of smartphones could negatively affect both, posture and respiratory function." 
There is negative financial incentive for the device producers (Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, etc) if it is discovered that their products are harmful to consumer health. 
As for data confirming emergence of harm caused by smartphone/tablet, it is a easy google search to see professionals at top research universities and hospitals provide anecdotal evidence that there is a correlation. 
From personal experience, a talk with a professional in Physical Therapy or Occupation Therapy will yield their first hand experience with the identification of cell phone/tablet (and laptop) use as the source of the physical stressor, and the subsequent mitigation (through behavioral (use it less) and environmental (use ergonomically) change) as its cure.
*edited for more linkz
I don't think it's necessary to go all the way and research citations to disprove claims that are just challenging basic common sense without any argument in their support, e.g. I don't really go to great lengths to use data to disprove claims related to astrology.
Also don't let myself use my phone while walking, as that was a big issue for a while.
Our system is simple, you point your child's device at a DNS server then add various accounts to supported educational sites like Khan Academy, Duolingo, Prodigy Math, etc. Our server detects when your child earns points on these platforms and disables access to non-educational (junk) sites until they earn X points to unlock Y time. Most of our user-base has noticed their kids now fully understand the value of their time instead of being stuck in a zombie-like YouTube spell of watching 5 hours of minecraft videos recommended next.
I can't include the full url here because my posts don't show up. I assume because I posted about it too much or some vast right/left wing conspiracy against my startup :)
Note here is a post from way back when I asked if anyone did what I wanted for my child.
Of course others could follow with similar features and this would remove the possible advantage Apple had, leaving them with no advantage and reduced app store revenue. Or if others don't follow, this might drive developers to other platforms.
Don't forget that for any device that a child owns, the likelihood is the parent is the customer, and it's their repeat purchases that probably make the biggest difference.
Or just show # of minutes by app, each day -- to observe where time is being spent... even for adults!
I just want to be able to set a daily or weekly budget of hours and then once I've used my hours up I get blocked.
this one seems very good: Moment – Screen Time Tracker by Kevin Holesh
there are a few apps listed here: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-parental-control-apps,revi...
I took a look at their 13F filing and some of their holdings include Google, Facebook and Twitter. They should probably start with divesting that if they feel really strongly about this.
What I sometimes miss from the conversation is that there is a lot of good things one can do with such device...and yes, also some bad ones...just like with a scissors or a lighter.
It’s on parents to teach their kids how the world functions and how to integrate into it...always has, always will!
And the latest craze (is this case smartphones) is simply that...the latest thing a contemporary human has to learn how to use.
And our kids will have to teach their kids one day how to use (and moderate personal use of) whatever the latest craze they have then.
As enjoyable as YouTube and similar streaming services are, they are pretty much still TVs, just with millions upon millions of different channels to chose from.
As I pointed out in another comment I think we need to be more nuanced...I agree that YouTube is mostly just like TV with infinite channels...luckily it’s not the only App though...just think of the fun kids can have with google search or Wikipedia.
Is an actual computer not an option?
Related medium post: https://medium.com/what-to-build/is-anything-worth-maximizin...
I doubt anything will actually come of this.
I do mean specific apps, not a whole class of apps based on rating. I mean blocking just one app.
Most developers have strong opinions about the tool they use: key layout, editor, code & test patterns, project methodology. This is because they learn to use those effectively through neurological short-cuts. That makes not having them incredibly frustrating. Having rewards at different time scales (instant feedback from seeing your ideas on the screen, seeing code compile, error rates go down, a product being launched) can play the role that social media plays for people whose main activity is more conversational.
Or maybe, you just drink too much coffee.
I am code-related, and I go home feeling empty if I walk away from a day without having built something. It can keep me up at night, actually. So there is something to that. I started working with wood at night, because it's not computer related and even with my poor skill it feels like an accomplishment. Exercise has a feeling of accomplishment for me as well. It's just surprising that the popular social medias can build up such a reward hit in people.
1960's Can we have a study of Television addiction in Children.
1970's Can we have a study of Dungeons and Dragons addiction in children
1980's Can we have a study of Console game addiction in Children.
1990's Can we have a study of Computer game addiction in Children.
2000's Can we have a study of Internet addiction in Children.
2010's Can we have a study of Facebook addiction in Children.
Oh would you please think of the children...
I spent very significant time during my childhood using computers. At the time, I would have had scarcely anything to prove that time was in any way "useful". I would have been hard pressed to convince others that my behavior was not detrimental.
Because I did spend so much time freely using computers, I learned how to use them. I learned about Linux, partitioning, bootloaders, programming, 3D modeling, etc.
My childhood learning experience happened over the course of more than a decade. It was full of totally pointless endeavors, a very significant part of it was just paying video games (which evolved into modding video games years later), and none of it would have happened with overbearing parents obsessed with the merits of my interests.
It seems like no one cared that when we got powerful supercomputers that fit in our pockets, we couldn't use them like real computers.
These arbitrary limitations are the real problem. I don't think adding to the collective fear of children using computers will help change that. It's more likely to convince parents to choose more control and censorship.
Taking them to the museum is a exercise in frustration when you find that they ignore any chance to play with the dinosaur bones or look at the solar system models. Present them with a screen and they are captured. I was shocked to see them staring at a monitor that had a scrolling error message on it.. I don't think they are brain damaged, but you would not know it to see them anyware near a tv or monitor. It seems that they have little ability to process the world if it is not presented on a screen.
That's a very related problem.
looking back on it, how were they to understand the difference between wow and everything else i played? it’s all the same to them.
we had frequent fights about how long i spent playing, when they’d ask me to do things in the middle of a raid (multi player coop thing; up to 40 players back then). in my head, it was incredibly important to me. now, i realise how stupid that was.
most people i think don’t realise how games can effect people mentally. to his day, 10 years later i still have dreams about my character sitting in a void, alone, asking me to come and play.
this is serious addiction, and you can’t blame parents for not understanding it.
Well your ones of anecdotes have sold me.
Read up on why Dong Nguyen pulled Flappy Bird off the app store and why Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent.
I agree, we shouldn't think of the children, we should probably think of the adults also.
And yet, pandora was already out of the box, and that game spawned a million knockoffs
Edit: The above is sarcasm. It probably deserves the downvotes, but at least I want to make clear that I don't mean this stuff. The amount of psychological research, behavior tracking, and personalization that goes into keeping people "engaged" with their phones has never been seen before. It just seems so outlandish to argue that it won't be a problem because we turned out fine despite having TV as kids, nevermind that it only offered a handful of completely un-personalized TV channels and zero user tracking (apart from the tiny fraction with a Nielsen box). I just don't get it, especially here on HN where I'm sure many people have an idea of what's going on behind e.g. the Facebook feed.
(Doubtless a bit of both, I suppose.)
Voter turnout as a percentage of eligible voters was significantly higher, so I don't think that's it.
I am concerned with any action that takes a child's privacy or liberty from them. I haven't heard a proposed solution that does neither, and most do both.
Someone with the absolute best intentions it's likely to take seriously harmful actions when privacy and liberty are disrespected.
If using a computer is addictive, then parents and schools will manage kids' use of computers (most already do), and arm kids with that knowledge and help them learn to manage it themselves as they get older.
Sending a kid out into the world purposefully ignorant of risks they might face is a terrible idea. This is also why sex ed is important, BTW.
It's perfectly reasonable for a parent to decide their child should spend time away from computers.
It's also very easy to take this reaction too far. Deciding what a child should do with a computer, or even that a child should not spend more than 10-20min. at a time using a computer seems reasonable, or even necessary to a lot of parents. Such a situation would have been extremely detrimental to my childhood.
It's easy to overcompensate for things like this, just like it is easy to overcompensate for safety. Parents who know better are likely to ignore studies like this, but others will definitely use these studies to excuse their own draconian censorship, privacy violation, etc.
> This is also why sex ed is important, BTW.
Correct thoughtful sex ed is important. Teaching children to stay away from or fear their sexuality is detrimental, yet it is still common practice. It would be nice to be able to expect a reasonable reaction from everyone, but the fact is that we simply can't.
I think the focus of studies like this misses the mark. Children need variety, so it's important for parents to push them out the door from time to time. Unfortunately, a lot of parents find it more important to schedule every moment of their child's life, make every decision for their child, or be somewhere in between. That attitude leads them to awful things like censorship, and privacy intrusion.
The phone addiction thing is severe for young people, and it’s not comparable to playing games on the computer back in the day.
My stepson responded to the suggestion of placing modest limits on his phone use with genuine anguish.
The problem is compounded by network effects, because vital social connections are now actively mediated through the phones.
Now, if you were to empirically argue (with data/evidence) on the importance of privacy and liberty in children, that’s a different story, but since when was parenting driven by science? :O
My personal experiences are valid.
Fear and control would have directly affected me, and I am certain that would have been to my detriment.
Demanding statistics at every turn means you are going to ignore anything that doesn't have it. That's just unreasonable.
I know a lot of parents who are over-concerned with their child's "safety". That extends to reading through teenager's texts, severely limiting their exposure to computers, etc.
Naturally, every child is different, and most won't have similar interests to what I had as a child, but speaking from experience: I would not have flourished in such an environment. I would never have had the liberty to mod video games, install Linux, etc. in a situation like that. I wouldn't have even encountered an interest in such things.
A concern with what a child does on his or her own can easily evolve into overbearing control and censorship. I want every parent to understand that.
Such as signing them up for a Facebook account, or having their schools force them to use Google hardware and services that track everything they do?
Also, commonplace firewalls that are made to keep them away from porn, but track them, have serious false-positives, and are often trivially circumvented, giving a false sense of security.
Another thing that really bothers me is that Microsoft convinces practically every school to use their software by giving it to schools "for free", and convincing educators that there are no viable alternatives.
Children usually don't get any opportunity to use a computer freely, i. e. installing other OS's, or even installing software. This means the only opportunities they get are at home, and many don't have their own authority over a real computer at home, either.
It's commonplace for young teenagers to learn how to circumvent arbitrary "security" measures so that they can find liberty, but that isn't always trivial enough to happen. These barriers do more damage than good.
"People who smoke are getting lung cancer. We'd better investigate the carcinogenic properties of tobacco."
"People who get too much sun are exhibiting symptoms from melanoma to premature aging. Could this be related to UV exposure?"
"People who work with radioactive material are dropping like flies. What the heck's up with that?"
"People who consume excessive sugar are experiencing symptoms from obesity to insulin resistance to heart disease. Could there be a connection?"
"Kids who spend a lot of time on iPhones are ... well, fine, I guess, but there's got to be some grant money in there somewhere."
showing signs of decreasing attention spans and cognitive abilities . This may be misdiagnosed as ADHD and then medicated. Yeah, they're fine, you guess. I'll cite you the next time someone brings it up to assure them the kids are fine.
This is an extremely good feature when talking about most consumer goods. Modern cups are just as good as old cups but way less expensive. Modern cars are significantly better in basically all ways (perhaps excepting repairability).
There may be a danger, however, when talking about technologies that people use, in part, to keep themselves from being bored - to absorb their attention in other words.
For me personally, Facebook/Internet/Computer Games >> TV >> Radio >> Books at capturing my attention. I suspect that this isn't a very unusual experience.
It may seem reasonable on its face to not let technological artifacts push you around or manipulate you, but honestly, it's not just a computer or a TV. Between TV, the Internet and Computer Games, it's the very best and most able of hundreds of thousands of people working every day to capture your attention.
Honestly, I have no idea if the current generation of attention capturing technology is dangerous. But I do know that what ever displaces what we have now will be better at capturing our attention. And the next generation will be better than that. And eventually, if the trend continues, there will be something that's so good at capturing attention that it is dangerous.
In 2020s, it will might be VR, in 2030s, it might be they spend too much time socializing with artificial beings, and so on. There is a point where it is worth thinking about whether it is a good thing or not. I know I will for my kid.
For example, here's a 1955 short educational piece on addition to toys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eGxoNMFE3s
Other than those two, video game, internet, and Facebook addiction are real things. And now, video games and Facebook are being intentionally and consciously designed to encourage addiction.
The only thing I'd agree with you about is that it's just as bad for adults as it is for children. Presumably, though, we generally allow adults to make their own decisions about their addictions, and just offer help when they want to break them. Also, kids are creating the habits that are going to be the substrate for their thinking over the rest of their lives. If you think somebody who got hooked on heroin in their 20s has a tough time quitting at 40, imagine somebody trying to quit at the same age but who started at 10.
Any nobody in their right mind would suggest to regulate or ban those.
I think as society we need to rethink addictions...as people with a issue...a issue that we need to provide help to break.
Instead we are pointing fingers and avoiding the necessary conversation.
I vaguely remember the Jonathan Blow video where he talked about Facebook games and how gaming companies hire psychologists to make sure that skinner rat feeling is maximized. It was pretty disturbing at the time, these days tons of games seem to be "optimized" this way. My guess is higher addiction rates are a logical conclusion.
Looking at some Pokemon Go players or WoW players gives me enough anecdotal evidence to think one can get addicted t games quite quickly.
Why one would expose children to this psycho-lab unsupervised...I don't know.
Kids are going to use whatever their parents put in their hands. All of my nieces and nephews has some type of smart device (tablet, or phone). They are on it all the time. They never paid for it but it was given to them by their parents.
If parents stop giving their kids smart devices, then they will use that spare time doing something else (e.g. video games, homework, hanging out, smoking, idunno). There's no need for a study at all. Kids, in general, don't have money to buy an $800 device.
This is a valid opinion, backed by citing decades of various pointless moral panics, and should not have been flagged.
If there is no evidence (as for example, there is no evidence of anytbing more than a small group of people causing a brief TV panic about D&D, a remarkable preview of Facebook-like credulitiy culture?), then intentional reflection on the impact of the products we make on society is a rational and reasonable precaution.
The first step in scientific inquiry is identifying the problem. Since that hasn't been done -- just as it wasn't done in the other examples cited -- that suggests the motivation for "investigation" is politics rather than science.
My favorite example is probably the video game moral panic. Nobody seemed to care that the juvenile crime rate took a steep turn down right around the time FPS games began making the news. That wasn't an example of "scientific inquiry," it was a politically-motivated witch hunt. What, exactly, is different this time?
It's possible to inquire, "For a reasonable definition of 'addiciton' do we see those effects?"
Your cherry picked anecdote is cancelled out by mine: standards in television broadcasting for children. Let's leave subsequent anecdote bandying aside and trust in the scientific method a bit, okay?
Television deregulation in the US is the precedent here. Given the modest costs of these sorts of inquiries compared to the massive profits enjoyed by Apple, Google, Samsung et al, it seems like a reasonable use for corporate tax dollars is to be an advocate for the general populace and make assurances these products are not in fact harmful.
Why is this such a challenging idea? No one is saying, "These are proven bad." They're saying, "We should have a definition of bad and then validate it."
The idea that we're not even allowed to ask the question because it's offensive? Why, that's positively irrational.
There was a time when using x-ray machines in shoe shops seemed totally benign, like a fun, useful thing. Suspicions about that "new thing" as well as others were correct. Including here, that list starts with "comic book" and ends with "internet and facebook" addiction, which are absolutely worth studying.
Sure, but surely these suspicions would exist anyway. The fact that we're probably thinking about this because of some bias is important to note, because that bias is likely to continue affecting people's thinking moving forward.
>And you're mixing up "haven't always borne out exactly as predicted by the most worried people" and "have never borne out".
I don't think I am. Any randomly selected hypothesis has some possibility of being true, especially one like "is <thing that exists> harmful". The fact that some of them have been borne out doesn't necessarily mean that "new things kids like are especially likely to be bad" is a good heuristic.
It's not that it's impossible that "phone addiction" is hurting kids. It's that we've seen this pattern over and over, and when people's thinking is biased, they're likely to continue believing there's a problem long after the majority of evidence suggests that there isn't. Pointing that out to raise people's skepticism is productive.
That heuristic is a strawman. Who employs it? Quote someone, I doubt you can. And then there's the countless new things kids like that nobody on the planet says a peep about, how do those figure in?
As for "heuristics", consider the notion that if kids like something new and untested en masse, they themselves may not be able to discern what is going on, so adults need to pay attention. Full stop, that's before getting into the actual signs that this particular issue might not be all peachy.
A study is just a study. You can hardly fearmonger about Apple sponsoring studies that skew the results against mobile devices. So why does this thread even exist? Because FUD exists, and even though this isn't FUD, it needs to be pre-emptively countered by false assurances in the form of memes?
Last but not least, it's not as if "let's study X" is how it used to be said... so to imply the equation "let's study X" == "X is of the devil for sure!" shouldn't slip under the radar the way it does.
If somebody would buy a iPhone and then rarely/never use it, then they would never or only in very long cycles buy a new iPhone...people also talk less about things they rarely use and it would therefore hurt brand awareness...and if you believe that Apples singular motivation to exist is to make more profit then that’s not a good thing!
Armchair commenters like to focus on how making profit is a company’s singular purpose and motivation...the bigger the company (Apple, Google, etc) the more kitties they are willing to poison to do so...but that’s absurd!
Making a lot of money is the ‘outcome’ of providing something people want...and the companies who do this successfully are simply the ones that focus on metrics that measure how much use users get out of their products...it’s that simple...and I would imagine that anyone who ever worked at a successful company would be able to attest that.
I have never ever in my career sat in a team meeting in a successful company where somebody suggested doing something because it would make us more money...that kind of thinking is shortsighted...I can see how it could work temporarily but it’s not a way to build a mission driven company like the ones at hand!
I am all for being critical...but we need to stop being cynical about everything...that doesn’t lead to any place worth going!
Try this: At first assume good intent and then think about why a company build their product the way they did...and then do the same but assume bad intent. Always almost will you notice that if the company was truly ill intended they would have driven it way farther.
One example I have at hand is for mobile apps...not the best one in this context but here we go: Most users forget about a app if they haven’t used it in 7 days!
It’s not like they forget to use it, or forget they had it...they forget that it exits!
Secondly, many people treat their phone more as a lease than an outright purchase. Carriers provide a ton of options to upgrade your phone regularly that could easily cause low-use users to habitually upgrade every 2 years or so.
Lastly, Apple phones in particular seem to be seen as a luxury. Luxury sales aren't necessarily tied to frequency of use. For example, I have a set of name brand golf clubs that I touch maybe 5 times a summer.
I am definitely not saying that you are wrong, but there are a lot of compounding factors to this. Phones are a fairly unique market.
But if I had to make an argument: People who buy iPhones are more likely to get their kids an exclusive iPad in their homes, thus making their kids prone to addiction. (Just a theory!)
Looking through a tinted lens, is it possible that iOS devices are just nicer to use, leading you to use them more?
Siri's answers are monotonous and boring compared to Google's.
Virtue signalling is at its most stark when the "good" thing is known to not actually be good, and yet companies do it anyway because they know that the public mistakenly believes it to be good.
For example: agro businesses virtue-signal by using "pesticide-free" processes—which aren't actually "pesticide free" in the spirit-of-the-law sense, but rather just make use of alternative chemicals as pesticides that aren't classed as pesticides by the FDA. These alternative pesticides are worse for the crops, and for your health, than the finely-tuned ones that get sprayed on regular crops. The businesses are signalling virtuousness by doing something knowingly anti-virtuous.
Another example (this time more in the editorial vein of the OP): governments and nonprofits love pushing for increased residential recycling. It's commerce and industry that generate the vast majority of waste; residential waste accounts for less than 10% of all waste, and recycling already has decent-enough take-up among residences that the additional ROI on residential recycling advocacy is actually negative. (I.e., we've passed the point where the marginal person affected by recycling advocacy actually helps the system by recycling; the people being reached by advocacy now are people with high-enough-paying jobs that it has more benefit to let them spend the time they would spend recycling working, and then tax their additional income and use it to pay for sorting facility workers.) But it's consensus-virtuous to preach the individual responsibility to recycle, so companies love taking part in spreading this advocacy. (Often in hypocritical ways: they'll give their office buildings separated waste containers so that the employees can feel better about having recycled—and then dump all the containers into landfill, because that's more cost-efficient.)
Maybe a more accurate way of phrasing my complaint "virtue signaling" is a grab bag that means one of two things: saying that a good thing is good and genuinely believing it (though perhaps being louder about saying than doing), and saying that a good thing is good when it's not actually good, or as a way of giving yourself cover when doing a bad thing. The cases you describe seem like the latter, but this article seems like the former.
To be clear, usages of the term "virtue signalling" to describe the behaviour of an individual, don't usually usually imply the same degree of sociopathy that it does when applied to the actions of a corporation. An individual doing "virtue signalling" is simply learning signals that tend to make people react by calling them a good person, and then parroting those signals, without necessarily doing much to learn about the content of those signals.
A better term for the individual behaviour might be "cargo-cult virtuousness"—which makes even more sense when put together with an assumption that people will be cargo-culting the "ritual" of a virtuous behaviour from other people who also cargo-culted the ritual, and so the ritual being performed will decay in this retransmission until it consists only of the observable actions that get people to call you virtuous, without holding any of the content that actually is virtuous.
Which is to say, in an environment with centralized teachings of moral ritual (like a religious congregation with active preaching), the only kind of virtue signalling that works is to actually do consensus-virtuous acts, because everyone is both aware of what the virtuous rituals are, and also aware that everyone else is aware of what the virtuous rituals are. In such an environment, it requires an active intent toward deception to merely signal virtue.
Meanwhile, in an environment where the idea of virtuous ritual is merely spread memetically, between families and peer groups, it is easy for a the idea of a virtuous ritual to become corrupted such that people can actually think themselves virtuous (and others can actually think that person virtuous) based solely on the performance of the "hollowed out" virtue ritual.
To reiterate, the point of virtue-signalling is to point to the thing that goes on in both contexts above: the thing that is active deception in communities with centrally-dictated virtue ritual; and the thing that is unquestioned cargo-cult-ism in communities with peerwise-transmitted virtue ritual.
That's an odd way of breaking the problem down.
Apple's one of the major drivers of smartphone addiction, but if you compare them to Google, they're a lot more likely to genuinely move towards limiting these sorts of issues. After all, their profits come more from the hardware sale, whereas Google gets their profits from ongoing usage of the device.
And if I point out a potential bug in your or our program, is the claim "you only do this to impress people who hate this type of bug" (which can rarely be proven or refuted) a good enough reason to not even look into it?
(If it's done ineffectively or fraudulently, that's a problem, but the problem there seems to be the fraud.)
It will no doubt be another biased study distracting us from something else we should be investing our time and monies on.