If I just had a smartphone and no computer growing up, I wouldn’t have learned how to program. I think it’s vitally important to provide access to computers and internet, not just the internet with smartphones.
I live in Tanzania and I teach at a school my wife founded and when teaching my computer class I asked my students (15-19) what the internet was. And swear to god, most of my students thought the internet was Facebook. Others thought it was Instagram, Google, or Facebook. They had no concept of a website.
Young and old, rich and poor Filipinos are glued to their phones like zombies all day browsing Facebook.
Especially news, people can't see thumbnails or click links so they directly jump to wrong assumptions based on what they see and hear from the comments. Some people just lost the time to click articles as time goes by.
I wish they made the plan's cheaper but this is the Philippines where internet sucks and PLDT (PH's largest internet provider) and Smart (PLDT's carrier) are the worst.
One recent example is where most news sources had a title that some [probably famous] man assualted a woman, yet the only local source had a title where it was clear that both man and the woman were arrested and charged. Google news actually makes this easier to see, because it groups titles from multiple sources into one "story" box.
Globe is best on mobile. They're the best but not so good with the promo offerings they give.
Yes, personal responsibility is also needed.
Keep in mind though that Facebook has used a lot of behavioral manipulation to squeeze engagement out of its users as much as possible. They purposeful made their product addicting.
In a lot of third world countries, digital literacy is lower than in developed countries so awareness of the bad effects of social media is low. Heck, even the US, didn't realize how bad addiction to social media is until the past few years.
Maybe a good approach can be:
- When there are millions of people with otherwise functional lives falling for unhealthy behaviour then you blame the carriers.
- When there is a very small percentage of the population engaging in that behaviour, then is personal responsibility.
For example, personal responsibility cannot be asked for when people lack education.
We have zero-rated Facebook/WhatsApp plans here in Spain but they are only available for certain, somewhat expensive plans. If Facebook or WhatsApp were zero-rated for cheap plans, nobody would pay for data, including myself.
Hooking more people on the drug is clearly of benefit to Facebook. Especially if the ISP's customers end up thinking Facebook IS the internet.
If a nation with a young population has a higher adoption rate for a modern technology than "developed" countries that are twice as old on average then good for Philippines. No need to dismiss them as "zombies" and bring in the usual Facebook circlejerk.
This is an important metric to note if one is running a non-geographically bound dating platform; the female users from PH grew exponentially when compared to other countries in our platform.
With that said, internet is so darn slow and unreliable it must be messaging services. It's hard to get real work done from the Phils as a remote software developer. Thank goodness for Tmux and SSH.
DSL or fiber internet in the Philippines is the slowest and most expensive in SE Asia. It's because of the high degree of political corruption here. Cartels and monopolies thrive, while consumer choice dies.
Maybe they're on the internet for longer periods of time because the speeds are so low and quality is so inconsistent that they _have_ to stay on the internet longer to get anything done! Having lived in PH off-and-on for about a year I know the pain first hand...
A lot of people in Phils seem to have a FB-connected mobile plan where they can chat on FB but not see the pictures on there, although you can send them pictures in the chat. And it only seems to connect them to FB, not the whole internet. Just a messenger app I guess. (Most of my close friends are in the Philippines, we chat on FB.)
Also, in this scenario what would stop users from using domain fronting or encrypted SNI to access other Facebook services?
That any day the ISP can kill those "bugs" making them useless especially for those who brought those in forms of paid VPNs, and if it doesn't, they will "block" you from the service, from not allowing to initiate LTE connection and locked to 3G, to not connect to the cell site at all.
Or just tunnel their traffic through the chat itself:
Sadly though, most of the data probably applies to Filipinos in Metro Manila and developed cities, and there's still a huge part of the population that do not have access to the internet or even basic services like 24-hour electricity.
Worse, someone told me that in 2012, internet service was way better, but then they realized they could just throttle everyone down and jack the prices up.
And I also had to have a Globe and Smart SIM cards, since the two cellphone companies have a cartel.
I loved it there, but it is a shame about the infrastructure.
Kidding aside, I would not put much trust on an online statistic. Specially since they did not even have the decency to tell us where and how they got that info
Another. Undated. Avg sms per month per subscriber = 600. Or 20 a day. Which seems low, I'm sure I've seen figures alot higher than this.
And yes, IG is huuuuuuuuuge in SK.
I wonder what similar changes Philippines is seeing. People are obviously replacing some offline activity with something similar they do online. For example spending time with friends our neighbors in real life has now been replaced with FB or Whatsapp. Probably because it is more convenient? Is it better though?
Before you wasted multiple hours a day on ephemera when you could have read something lasting or done something more fun, now you waste less than an hour. Before you had no information sources to provide alternative viewpoints or later, more in depth reporting after the initial flurry of news reporting. Now you realise journalists are often ignorant, writing under really tight deadlines and have no incentive to fix mistakes unless someone can sue them or has their own media platform. Journalism was always awful, you just didn’t know.
By the looks of it, they may easily match or exceed the daily usage of any internet-addicted person in any country. What is the total number of people employed in that industry there?
Would these types of industries affect the numbers?
Tho it's not actually by PBS, it was originally produced by the cooperation of French and German public broadcasting.
But I'm glad it's finally available somewhere again. The original, publicly funded release was depublished after 3 weeks due to specialties of the public broadcasting agreements. They have to depublish a lot of media after only a few weeks or else it's considered an "unfair disadvantage" for private media companies.
Apparently, 80-90% of the content on the Cebuano and Waray Wikipedias is generated by Lsjbot.
I’m thinking of using a similar approach to bump up the number of Arabic Wikipedia articles, but it seems like cheating to me...
At least I remember the German wiki being firmly placed in second place a while ago, the numbers for active users of these wikis  also reinforces that notion.
Browsing FB would be a godsend.
Systemic efficiency is really high in the west. Almost top quality in successful countries like Singapore.
A trip to some of the not so successful countries in Asia and Africa and it is an eye-opener how much is taken for granted in a rich society.
The biggest among these things is infrastructure. In a lot of places in the developing world, it just isn't there. And if it is there, it's a fairly slapdash, ad hoc affair. Probably patched together from whatever they could find. No real professional urban planning, either. Likely to be incredibly compromised by political corruption and therefore working only some of the time, since contracts are given to the local warlord's cronies and sycophants.
Look at the power grid in the Philippines. If you live anywhere in the provinces, you'll experience constant "brownouts" where the power is redirected or there is no failover capacity. And without that, of course, there is no internet connectivity...
Is it like, people trapped waiting in line for government services? Or something else?
Heck, I would trade living there (currently in the U.S.) if it wasn't for the lack of high paying tech jobs for all of the outdoor and aquatic activities that are closely within reach after a relatively short drive.
PS: I am not saying that the Philippines is not good. I am saying that the Internet is cheap entertainment and fills a gap in places where you do not have entertainment.