Smartphones are flat-out amazing. No, miraculous. A voice gives me turn-by-turn driving instructions to get to a ranch outside a small town 750 miles away. That’s incredible.
Also, the ability to shoot a video clip and send it to someone in Nepal instantaneously, day or night.
And manage my bank account, pay bills, buy and sell stocks, set up a daily schedule with reminders, wake me up on time, check the weather, watch a football game or a movie, and much, much more.
Oh, and I forgot: make phone calls.
No wonder your kid wants one. Practically every other kid their age already has one. The ultimate horror: being left out.
But this screen-based device has some really scary downsides:
- It’s designed to addict the user
- Your kid has access to 100,000 porn videos
- It’s a gateway to social networking, the ultimate time-waster and spirit-buster
- Sexual predators use it to find and groom children for sex trafficking
- Real, in-person human contact – vital to learning adult social skills – is replaced by text messaging
In case you missed my other articles:
- Teen Smartphones and Social Networking – Buyer Beware
- Smartphones for Teens – Eyes Wide Open
- Disconnected – How to Deal with Teen Smartphone Issues
But wait, there’s more. A new documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” pulls back the curtain of operations such as Facebook and Twitter to reveal another dimension: how big corporations pay social media to use Artificial Intelligence and vast server farms to learn your interests and preferences, maintain a file of this information, and use it to manipulate your political opinions with disinformation and get you to buy things. Watch it on Netflix.
A review: “’The Social Dilemma’ Wants You to Delete Facebook,” Angela Ufheil on 5280 (September 11, 2020)
Ms Ufheil: “The film illustrates the detrimental effects social media has on society and argues that these platforms aren’t simply being misused by fallible humans, but instead steering those humans toward their worst selves—insecure, uninformed, distracted, depressed, and, in some cases, radicalized. Those ideas aren’t new, but under Orlowski’s direction, the documentary delivers them through some very powerful mouthpieces: The very people who helped build Facebook, Twitter, and their ilk appear in the movie to renounce their own work.”
You’ll be shocked to discover what they know about you. And what they do with the information. For lots of money.