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As a parent of a 14-year-old, I would far prefer she be roaming about than on her phone. These devices are addictive, and limiting them is important.

I don't see it being any worse than the TV shows and consoles of years past. Or the arcade and bowling alleys of years before that. It's just the newest big time killer. All of those mediums are designed to be addictive and I don't think increased convenience makes it much worse

They are significantly worse. There is absolutely no comparison. 1) Phones combine actual essential features with “time killers”. With a TV or arcade games, there was no illusion of those activities being essential in any sense. So the easy response for both of those was to limit access time. You cannot do that as easily with modern phones (these features are an attempt to do so).

2) Availability. Your phone is with you all the time. Because it is portable and it is personal. A TV was usually shared and rarely portable like the phone. Same is true of other major time killers.

3) Variety. Phones have a much greater variety of addicting behaviors. It’s like taking a super charger TV, arcade games, and a whole host of other new addicting features (e.g. social media which in addition to the dopamine hits has built in fun peer pressure aspects necessitating their use amongst kids), throwing them in the same device, making it extremely portable and available, and then throwing in some essential features (messaging/phones) so parents have to make them available to kids, and until recently providing no decent ways of limiting the usage. 4) Data and dopamine hits. Almost every other “time killer” until now has had to target a fairly broad demographic but today’s apps and social media sites, etc have the smartest brains in the world sitting around plotting how to get adults and teenagers hooked onto their service based on their individual usage. I’ve quit FB but noticed that the app spent the next month spamming me with a variety of notifications trying to figure out what would get me to open it (a birthday reminder did the trick) and then spammed me with birthday notifications until that stopped working and went back to a variety of notifications again. TV never had the ability to target individuals to this degree.

- Surveillance

- Documentation of mistakes

They are solitary activities like TV and gaming consoles. Bowling isn’t. And arcades weren’t when I was growing up, and you’re still out there possibly interacting with people.

Further, they are idle consumption far and beyond books. I’d question anyone who sees someone sitting on a phone/TV/game all day and think it’s doing anything good for them.

Your characterization as “idle consumption devices“ makes no sense at all.

They aren’t exclusively solitary activities. A lot of usage has a social component (it’s communicating with friends). I don’t think you can seriously suggest that relationships forged across a distance are somehow not real or necessarily worse than social relationships you tend to in person.

You can’t just equivocate phones, games and TV – and with phones it‘s really all about the particular usage.

In particular this important social component (uses which allow for communication with other people are some of the most popular) leads me to always be baffled when people automatically connect phone use to being lonely or alone. It can be, but it not necessarily is.

You can't play consoles on the bus, in the street, at the table, on the toilet, in class, in the playground, at the library, in the cafe etc.

You haven't seen Nintendo's latest offering then, have you?

How's instagram on the switch?

Or Sony's PS Vita.

Handheld consoles have been around for over three decades.

Yeah I definitely played Pokemon in all of those places at least as far back as 2003 (when I was in the third grade).

If you have time, please give our free iOS app studycity a test. It will block fun sites after 1 hour. In order to get access back the user has to earn 5+ points on khan, duolingo, code combat, prodigy, Tynker etc. Our servers will log in as the child or make an API call on the learning site to verify.

It works by using a dual mode DNS (learn and play modes). Note the app requires vpn approval, but we only control the DNS. If you want to avoid that you can manually set up the phone after a free signup on our studycity org website.

I never have asked this in 10 years on this site. Can the downvoter(s) clarify the reason? I have spokenwith 1,000+ parents and teachers individually. Easily 90% are very excited about it. It is simply a tool. I don't think every child should use it. In fact, I hope children that use it eventually stop because they have developed better study and time management habits.

I doubt the downvotes have anything to do with your product itself (which seems superficially similar to that in the linked article?), but more with the fact that self-promotion outside of a [ShowHN] is generally frowned upon.

I thought it was an appropriate post that’s sufficiently on topic to not really qualify and shameless self promotion.

This is our twitter account. This link has a few tweets that explain more about it.


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