Author Topic: How smart phones are destroying a generation  (Read 4442 times)

LiveLean

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How smart phones are destroying a generation
« on: August 05, 2017, 04:30:57 PM »
With boys 14 and 12, this article -- it's a book excerpt -- in The Atlantic perfectly sums up my frustrations and concerns for the future.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/
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englishteacheralex

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 07:11:33 PM »
Among several other immediate impulses I had in response to this article thanks to your post, I am about to shut down my laptop and read a book. I'm too old to be addicted to my smartphone, but my laptop addiction is just as bad. OMG that was a horrifying article.
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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2017, 07:52:36 PM »
Thanks for the link to that article, good read.

Recently read this over at Raptitude, and tried it myself. I feel like I have so much of my day back. It is incredible. If it weren't for GPS/navigation, I could probably be convinced to get rid of the smartphone altogether.
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Rowellen

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 08:52:40 PM »
Yes it's scary. My 8yo is constantly asking for new games on his ipad. Getting him to turn it off is getting harder by the day. My parents bought it for him "because he will need it for school" (he doesn't). I refuse to pay for apps so he gets basic free games with ads. Yay. There is a definite difference in his behaviour when he has been using it. I'm worried for his future.

TrudgingAlong

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 12:19:48 AM »
Interesting. Our kids are not allowed to own electronics. We give them a lot of access, but ultimately, they are ours. It kills almost all their arguments over time. Their friends have phones, but they haven't asked yet. My oldest is 12, going into 7th this year. We're in a new school system, new state, so no idea if it catches up to us here, but I plan on keeping this up as long as it works. We'll be getting a phone for when they need to carry one, but it will, once again, not be theirs until they can pay the bills.

meatface

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 05:51:32 AM »
Every generation has a thing that their parents think is ruining them. It just means you're old ;)
Here is the phone-specific part.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:44:10 AM by meatface »

GilbertB

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 06:27:26 AM »
Send them to work at sea.
No cell coverage about 15nm out.
:)

Khaetra

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 06:37:44 AM »
Every generation has a thing that their parents think is ruining them. It's just means you're old ;)
Here is the phone-specific part.

Exactly.  TV, rock-and-roll, video games, etc. were going to ruin everything and doom society.  Smart phones are just the latest thing to lay blame on.

wauske

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 08:14:08 AM »
Yes it's scary. My 8yo is constantly asking for new games on his ipad. Getting him to turn it off is getting harder by the day. My parents bought it for him "because he will need it for school" (he doesn't). I refuse to pay for apps so he gets basic free games with ads. Yay. There is a definite difference in his behaviour when he has been using it. I'm worried for his future.
My 4yo uses a defective phone which can't call anymore but other than that works OK. We have set strict limits on what apps he can use and also limit at which time het can start using it as well as the maximum usage time per day. Primarily he can't use it before schooltime or after 7 which is whenw e prepare him for bed.
He whines from time to time that his time isn't up yet but he still hasn't learned that playing a video while playing with other toys is costly in his time available on it.

That said he loves playing outdoor and biking, walking not so much but as long as he bikes we can walk for hours before he's tired.

And it has also been said, my phone use is probably a lot worse than my son's. So much so that I installed a time limiting app on my own phone without bypass options. My mom and sister complained that my response time was lagging in whatsapp so I kicked whatsapp off my phone :D
Everything I say is my personal opinion which is based on my subjective experience.

madgeylou

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 08:47:48 AM »
Every generation has a thing that their parents think is ruining them. It's just means you're old ;)
Here is the phone-specific part.

Exactly.  TV, rock-and-roll, video games, etc. were going to ruin everything and doom society.  Smart phones are just the latest thing to lay blame on.

Did y'all read the article? It is not just old person hand-wringing.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 09:20:00 AM »
The article seems to explain something I experienced last year when my wife was very ill. My wife had a long-term illness that lasted over a year and during that time I was almost entirely isolated from personal interaction with friends. I became very sad so no one wanted to hang out with me anymore and we live too far away from our families for significant personal interaction.

I tried to substitute social media for in-person socialization and it did not work even in the slightest. Social media amplifies anger, depression, outrage, and fear. People are much more interested in projecting false images of wealth and success than in engaging in pleasant companionship with one another. Perhaps this is because you don't look each other in the eye when you interact over a computer and you do not react to body language or facial expressions.

I ended up feeling even sadder and more alone than I felt before I participated in social media. I know this is just anecdotal, but that article really helped me understand those feelings a bit better.

lizzzi

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2017, 09:50:56 AM »
Just anecdotal here...and my iPhone isn't a problem, because I mostly just use it as a phone...can't stand dinking around with that little, tiny thing. So boring. But my laptop is another matter, and I have found I have to be very mindful, and very strict with myself to get off the blasted thing and go do something real. I can't really quantify this, but being outside in nature, or interacting with my dog and/or real people, or reading a hardcopy book, or playing my acoustic musical instruments are all so much more meaningful and satisfying than doing "virtual" things on the laptop or even on the phone. Being on the laptop for hours, especially just before bed, makes me irritable, jumpy, nervous, and boogy-eyed. Being on the phone very long--let's say while sitting in a waiting area waiting for my car work to get done--makes me feel the same way. Now I'm a grown-up, and you may say, "Well so what?" I know, but the ramifications for children are frightening, as the article pointed out with those scary statistics. And I have an eight-year-old grandson who refuses to read. Refuses. All he wants to do is play games either on his mother's phone or his hand-held XDS game. (Think I've got that right. XDS, SDS...something like that.) He will not read Anything unless he is bribed by the promise of so many minutes allowed to play on the his mother's phone, iPad, or that handheld game. It is horrible.

I walked with him and my dog on the park's walking trails on his most recent visit. The only way he would come out and take a woodland walk was if he could bring his mom's phone and play Pokemon Go on the trail--looking for those little cartoon creatures all the way. He did find a bunch of virtual critters, and I'll admit it was kind of interesting in a way to see them on the phone against the backdrop of the trail...but, he missed seeing a stunning goldfinch, and he completely ignored my cute little dog.  in fairness, with his head down looking at the phone, he did find a pretty blue robin's egg that I had missed.

Sorry for this long post, but I am really, seriously worried about this trend. Two days ago I was on the trail and saw a young buck with a nice rack of antlers--rare to see a buck out there, and we neighbors always talk about it if we do see one. People on the trail generally come to a stop, watch silently, and point silently so the next people on the trail can look at whatever the interesting bird or animal is. A woman walking near me was glued to her phone and Did Not Even Look Up when I spoke to her and tried to call her attention to the deer. Just Ignored Me. She Walked Right Past It and Did Not See It! I felt like I was in some blankety-blank science fiction movie with the Pod People or something..zombies walking around with blank stares. And if you think it was just a fluke, here came a second person down the trail with headphones and a phone. I did a little wave and gestured to the deer so the person could turn their head and enjoy it...and the Person Just Kept Walking Straight Ahead As If I Wasn't There!!

The answer, of course, is some kind of happy medium. Technology is too useful to give  up...and it's what is going to take us to Mars someday--one of my big life goals is to see that happen before I die. But how to pry people...especially children...off their tech. once in a while to learn to live real lives. Well, that is the big conundrum.

TrudgingAlong

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2017, 09:57:21 AM »
The article seems to explain something I experienced last year when my wife was very ill. My wife had a long-term illness that lasted over a year and during that time I was almost entirely isolated from personal interaction with friends. I became very sad so no one wanted to hang out with me anymore and we live too far away from our families for significant personal interaction.

I tried to substitute social media for in-person socialization and it did not work even in the slightest. Social media amplifies anger, depression, outrage, and fear. People are much more interested in projecting false images of wealth and success than in engaging in pleasant companionship with one another. Perhaps this is because you don't look each other in the eye when you interact over a computer and you do not react to body language or facial expressions.

I ended up feeling even sadder and more alone than I felt before I participated in social media. I know this is just anecdotal, but that article really helped me understand those feelings a bit better.

I definitely think you are on to something here. I find social media really does make me feel left out with certain groups of friends at times. They post pics of them together and I don't smile for them, I wonder why I wasn't invited? I've been working on limiting my FB time after I realized how much that bothered me. I also realize just how worthless my own social media posting often is, so I do less of that, too. Good lessons as I begin to navigate my own kids' dealings with them!

Also, I'm surprised at how many of my nieces and nephews have FB profiles already. Most started at 10 or younger. I am not sure how their parents regulate it, but couple that with their own phone (we met a kid in our development who is actually allowed to bring it to class and text her mother..? Um, she's 8?), and it sets up the situation when they are older. I really think we have to be smarter about our kids and devices (and I let my kids play all kinds of video games! No worries about them making them violent or whatever is the latest handwringing over them :P )

lizzzi

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2017, 10:03:37 AM »
The article seems to explain something I experienced last year when my wife was very ill. My wife had a long-term illness that lasted over a year and during that time I was almost entirely isolated from personal interaction with friends. I became very sad so no one wanted to hang out with me anymore and we live too far away from our families for significant personal interaction.

I tried to substitute social media for in-person socialization and it did not work even in the slightest. Social media amplifies anger, depression, outrage, and fear. People are much more interested in projecting false images of wealth and success than in engaging in pleasant companionship with one another. Perhaps this is because you don't look each other in the eye when you interact over a computer and you do not react to body language or facial expressions.

I ended up feeling even sadder and more alone than I felt before I participated in social media. I know this is just anecdotal, but that article really helped me understand those feelings a bit better.

I definitely think you are on to something here. I find social media really does make me feel left out with certain groups of friends at times. They post pics of them together and I don't smile for them, I wonder why I wasn't invited? I've been working on limiting my FB time after I realized how much that bothered me. I also realize just how worthless my own social media posting often is, so I do less of that, too. Good lessons as I begin to navigate my own kids' dealings with them!

Also, I'm surprised at how many of my nieces and nephews have FB profiles already. Most started at 10 or younger. I am not sure how their parents regulate it, but couple that with their own phone (we met a kid in our development who is actually allowed to bring it to class and text her mother..? Um, she's 8?), and it sets up the situation when they are older. I really think we have to be smarter about our kids and devices (and I let my kids play all kinds of video games! No worries about them making them violent or whatever is the latest handwringing over them :P )

Yes, a big Plus One to all the above. +1

thesvenster

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2017, 10:13:02 AM »
Every generation has a thing that their parents think is ruining them. It's just means you're old ;)
Here is the phone-specific part.

Exactly.  TV, rock-and-roll, video games, etc. were going to ruin everything and doom society.  Smart phones are just the latest thing to lay blame on.

But TV has made people unable to think for themselves, pop music has destroyed genuine music, video games are wasting (mostly) young men's lives, and smart phones are making people unable to communicate or interact with people.

Just because the predictions of the past were overly dire doesn't mean that they weren't true on some level.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2017, 10:47:10 AM »
I read the article, and found it untrue to my experience and my 12 year old's experience so far.

We both delight in our electronics, but we both also: drop them to play IRL with others; create electronics-free community events; walk/ride bikes/swim; use them to connect with others and improve our lives; experience increases in happiness by having them in our lives (i.e., find they lift us).

I thought the info in the article might be true for specific people, but that overall its broadstroke ideas were a disservice.

I was electronics-free til age 26, and my life really sucked. When I went online at 26, my world opened up every which way. I think people invented these for a reason -and I suspect many of those involved in the inventing were people like me, such that the results for me were not a coincidence.

For me, the internet is what a hearing aid is for some people with hearing impairment.

We don't have data, though, and generally don't use the talking feature of a phone. We don't use Facebook, snapchat, Twitter, etc. We're selective about what aspects we include in our lives. These variables are what result in a balance for us, I think.

LiveLean

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2017, 07:48:59 AM »
OP here....Just bought younger son a phone for his 12th birthday this week. He starts 7th grade in a few days. I resisted as long as I could. His brother waited until he was nearly 13. The age seems to be coming down to 10. My nephew turns 10 in October and while I'd like to think my sister will point to his cousins as justification for waiting, I'm betting he gets a smart phone.

God help us.
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FrugalFisherman10

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2017, 08:05:34 AM »
I read the article (and watched the comedian videos).
I am not shocked, but the data paints an even worse picture than I imagined. It's heartbreaking about the suicide rate. Less likely to kill eachother and more likely to kill themselves (than previous generations).

It really does seem science-fictiony to have a society where the measurables are so great ("Childhood pregnancy is down!" "Homicide rates are down!"), but it's all just because the people aren't hanging out with one another.


To jooniflorisploo, I think your experience is rather red herring, and good for you on that! Seriously that's impressive.
I read the article, and found it untrue to my experience and my 12 year old's experience so far.

We both delight in our electronics, but we both also: drop them to play IRL with others; create electronics-free community events; walk/ride bikes/swim; use them to connect with others and improve our lives; experience increases in happiness by having them in our lives (i.e., find they lift us).

I thought the info in the article might be true for specific people, but that overall its broadstroke ideas were a disservice.

I was electronics-free til age 26, and my life really sucked. When I went online at 26, my world opened up every which way. I think people invented these for a reason -and I suspect many of those involved in the inventing were people like me, such that the results for me were not a coincidence.

For me, the internet is what a hearing aid is for some people with hearing impairment.

We don't have data, though, and generally don't use the talking feature of a phone. We don't use Facebook, snapchat, Twitter, etc. We're selective about what aspects we include in our lives. These variables are what result in a balance for us, I think.
What do you use a phone for if it's not:
A) talking
B) Facebook, snapchat, twitter
C) Everything else that requires data...?

TrudgingAlong

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2017, 10:03:02 AM »
OP here....Just bought younger son a phone for his 12th birthday this week. He starts 7th grade in a few days. I resisted as long as I could. His brother waited until he was nearly 13. The age seems to be coming down to 10. My nephew turns 10 in October and while I'd like to think my sister will point to his cousins as justification for waiting, I'm betting he gets a smart phone.

God help us.

I'm genuinely curious why you bought him one now? Mine is starting 7th, too, but not with a phone. Granted, we just moved, and he has no friends yet here, plus he'd much rather play video games than text anyone, but I am wondering what kind of pressure there is at school for phone use.

thesvenster

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2017, 11:26:47 AM »
I'm thinking we'll introduce our kids to smartphones/internet enabled tech sorta like we introduce alcohol: something societally widespread and enjoyable but with the potential to be all consuming and destructive to your life.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2017, 11:37:46 AM »
I'm not sure it's a red herring, FrugalFisherman10. I think a lot of people are selective about how they use their machines, and don't decide that "machine = must sign up for everything", know what I mean?

We hang out in communities that highly value: being together, getting into nature, etc. So, for us, those are the norm, and a device is just a tool to facilitate that or experience respite in relation to that.

We have wifi at home, so at home I go on this forum, check meetup.com (create and sign up for live events), look for free community events, watch Netflix, look up recipes, map out my route to our next location, email with friends between IRL visits, experience guided meditation. Then we set the phone aside and jump around in the ocean for six hours, go fishing, walk through the forest, potluck with strangers...

My son uses his devices to: watch Netflix at home, complete his homeschooling academics, experience guided meditation, play games after intense social hours out, play calming music for sleep. Once a week or so he goes on Skype to play online games with his best friend from our last location.

This is the norm in our wider community, though (not neighbourhood, but tribe).

I think it's a lot like the whole MMM schtick. We can look at society's financial norms, cry woe, and follow suit, or we can say, "But it's 2017 and I have options. I'll use these apps in these ways, enhance my life, and make it even more awesome."

The tools don't call the shots.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2017, 12:24:02 PM »
A lot of the trouble with teens using smartphones (and the internet in general) comes from parents who choose not to regulate their usage. I don't really know why parents behave that way, but it just seems to be the way things are right now. Teenagers are basically given a portal to all the ideas in the entire world -- good and bad alike -- and just told to figure it all out on their own. I'm all for self-exploration, but parents are not giving kids the tools to understand their existence. Nobody at home is teaching them the difference between positivity and hate, banter and bullying, humor and trolling. It's hard to blame the kids for turning out to be obnoxious little shits when they don't have anybody in their lives willing to help them navigate their teenage years.

Khaetra

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2017, 12:58:10 PM »
A lot of the trouble with teens using smartphones (and the internet in general) comes from parents who choose not to regulate their usage. I don't really know why parents behave that way, but it just seems to be the way things are right now. Teenagers are basically given a portal to all the ideas in the entire world -- good and bad alike -- and just told to figure it all out on their own. I'm all for self-exploration, but parents are not giving kids the tools to understand their existence. Nobody at home is teaching them the difference between positivity and hate, banter and bullying, humor and trolling. It's hard to blame the kids for turning out to be obnoxious little shits when they don't have anybody in their lives willing to help them navigate their teenage years.

The bolded is exactly the problem.  Parents say 'Sure kid, here's a phone, don't drop it' and off they go without guidance or any rules and then those same parents are shocked when something horrible happens and the rest of us ask 'where were the parents when so-and-so was doing/saying this'.  It's easier to blame a thing (TV, Phone, internet) than it is to lay blame where it truly belongs.

Christof

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2017, 06:06:35 PM »
But TV has made people unable to think for themselves, pop music has destroyed genuine music, video games are wasting (mostly) young men's lives, and smart phones are making people unable to communicate or interact with people.
g

I don't have the impression that people in 1914 (WW I) or 1939 (WW II) were really thinking for themselves, despite having no TV. Also pop music and video games weren't available until recently,  after hundred of years of catastrophies. 9/11 isn't that long ago for many people, yet it was before smart phones were even a term. They were called PDAs or Communicators back them.

It's rare to find someone who actually wants to live in the past, so it's safe to assume that life got better, that the benefits of the smartphone outweigh its disadvantages. So even if I'm not part of today's development (I stopped with Facebook and Twitter), I have to assume that live will be better, even when I don't understand it.

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2017, 07:03:37 PM »
I think it's also probably important how the parents use their own devices. Do they use them like junifloorispoo as a way to connect to the world around them or are they using them to escape their reality?

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BuffaloStache

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2017, 07:05:52 AM »
I read the article, and found it untrue to my experience and my 12 year old's experience so far.

 ...We're selective about what aspects we include in our lives. These variables are what result in a balance for us, I think.

There is hope for the future, lol. You are a good parent for instilling these values in your child. I have a baby son and am definitely worried about this as he grows.
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caracarn

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2017, 07:58:42 AM »
OP here....Just bought younger son a phone for his 12th birthday this week. He starts 7th grade in a few days. I resisted as long as I could. His brother waited until he was nearly 13. The age seems to be coming down to 10. My nephew turns 10 in October and while I'd like to think my sister will point to his cousins as justification for waiting, I'm betting he gets a smart phone.

God help us.

I'm genuinely curious why you bought him one now? Mine is starting 7th, too, but not with a phone. Granted, we just moved, and he has no friends yet here, plus he'd much rather play video games than text anyone, but I am wondering what kind of pressure there is at school for phone use.
I can add my own comments here.

Our local school district makes it almost a necessity for the kids to have cell phones.  Teachers will send out texts with assignment reminders and other class information.  If they do not have a phone they need e-mail.  Our school also provides them with iPad or Macbook (for different grades) and they are required to use it for all classes.  And yes, if it got damaged or destroyed, the repair cost is on the parents.  So far for two years with many kids no real problem.  Fingers crossed.

NeonPegasus

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2017, 08:35:39 AM »
My kids go to a private school that highly emphasizes tech and requires them to have tablets. The older ones have kindle fires with hardcore restrictions on them. Basically, they can read, use school apps and access the handful of websites that the school has them go to for assignments.

My oldest (10/5th grade) is 1 of the only 2 girls in her class to not have an ipad or texting capabilities. Her friend is allowed to text under the understanding that her mom will read everything. What her mom has read is not good and underscores my decision to disallow it. She read me a group convo with some of the girls where they start off teasing each other and then the whole things spirals downhill into nasty invective against each other. It shows me that they just don't understand the pitfalls of communication without tonal inflection, facial expressions or face-to-face accountability.

I am trying to model a better way by deactivating Facebook and focusing on hanging out with friends more. I do not know how long I'll be able to hold the beast at bay but I am okay with being a mean mom if it means teaching my child to value in-person connection rather than getting suckered into fake connection offered by social media.

ketchup

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2017, 08:47:48 AM »
My kids go to a private school that highly emphasizes tech and requires them to have tablets. The older ones have kindle fires with hardcore restrictions on them. Basically, they can read, use school apps and access the handful of websites that the school has them go to for assignments.
According to my younger sister (she graduated high school two years ago), school-issued Chromebooks loaded up with restrictions are a great way to encourage students to learn about the best ways to bypass the restrictions and in the process learn more about the technology they are using.  Such problem-solving is where real learning happens.

Of course, the school cracked down on this in an amusingly dramatic and draconian way.  It basically turned into a cat and mouse game, the best being when an "exploited" machine could pass as a "restricted" one when casually inspected by a teacher.  Reminded me of my own graphing calculator days in high school.  Writing TI-83 programs that could do my math homework and show the work properly to just copy straight over, those were the days.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 08:50:41 AM by ketchup »

NeonPegasus

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2017, 09:46:57 AM »
My kids go to a private school that highly emphasizes tech and requires them to have tablets. The older ones have kindle fires with hardcore restrictions on them. Basically, they can read, use school apps and access the handful of websites that the school has them go to for assignments.
According to my younger sister (she graduated high school two years ago), school-issued Chromebooks loaded up with restrictions are a great way to encourage students to learn about the best ways to bypass the restrictions and in the process learn more about the technology they are using.  Such problem-solving is where real learning happens.

Touché. Yes, my oldest has spent some time figuring out how to get around time restrictions and exploiting some vulnerabilities. FTMP, I don't mind some rule bending if it's on the lower end of the spectrum, like scamming some extra Minecraft time.

mm1970

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2017, 10:13:35 AM »
The article seems to explain something I experienced last year when my wife was very ill. My wife had a long-term illness that lasted over a year and during that time I was almost entirely isolated from personal interaction with friends. I became very sad so no one wanted to hang out with me anymore and we live too far away from our families for significant personal interaction.

I tried to substitute social media for in-person socialization and it did not work even in the slightest. Social media amplifies anger, depression, outrage, and fear. People are much more interested in projecting false images of wealth and success than in engaging in pleasant companionship with one another. Perhaps this is because you don't look each other in the eye when you interact over a computer and you do not react to body language or facial expressions.

I ended up feeling even sadder and more alone than I felt before I participated in social media. I know this is just anecdotal, but that article really helped me understand those feelings a bit better.

I definitely think you are on to something here. I find social media really does make me feel left out with certain groups of friends at times. They post pics of them together and I don't smile for them, I wonder why I wasn't invited? I've been working on limiting my FB time after I realized how much that bothered me. I also realize just how worthless my own social media posting often is, so I do less of that, too. Good lessons as I begin to navigate my own kids' dealings with them!

Also, I'm surprised at how many of my nieces and nephews have FB profiles already. Most started at 10 or younger. I am not sure how their parents regulate it, but couple that with their own phone (we met a kid in our development who is actually allowed to bring it to class and text her mother..? Um, she's 8?), and it sets up the situation when they are older. I really think we have to be smarter about our kids and devices (and I let my kids play all kinds of video games! No worries about them making them violent or whatever is the latest handwringing over them :P )

Very very good points.  I often feel the same.  Even though, I often remind myself "I don't invite all of my friends to everything", it still hurts when people you used to hang out with, do stuff together - or when people you introduced to each other - do stuff together.

Pre-Facebook, you know, I'd never know who was hanging out together.

I worry about the potential bullying aspect.  I was bullied a lot as a kid, but at least it was only at school, not off hours.

LiveLean

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2017, 10:35:38 AM »
OP here....Just bought younger son a phone for his 12th birthday this week. He starts 7th grade in a few days. I resisted as long as I could. His brother waited until he was nearly 13. The age seems to be coming down to 10. My nephew turns 10 in October and while I'd like to think my sister will point to his cousins as justification for waiting, I'm betting he gets a smart phone.

God help us.

I'm genuinely curious why you bought him one now? Mine is starting 7th, too, but not with a phone. Granted, we just moved, and he has no friends yet here, plus he'd much rather play video games than text anyone, but I am wondering what kind of pressure there is at school for phone use.

Schools communicate many things by phone. Texting and social media are a huge part of middle school existence. It reached a point where my guy was lying to his friends saying he had a phone but wasn't allowed to bring it to school. I'm as anti-phone as anyone for all the reasons outlined in The Atlantic article, but figured it was time.

Schools and coaches don't make it easy. For instance, yesterday was my 14-year-old's first day of high school swim practice, scheduled for 2 to 5. Coach tells them 30 minutes into practice that freshmen are excused at 3:30. Son texts me, I'm thankfully nearby running errands instead of driving 30 minutes home. Pre-phone this would have been unacceptable for a coach to do but now they figure everyone has phones and can just call their parents. (Still annoying from a parents' standpoint). Just one example of something similar that seems to occur weekly -- and example No.765 of how smart phones have destroyed common courtesy.
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marcela

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2017, 10:47:54 AM »
OP here....Just bought younger son a phone for his 12th birthday this week. He starts 7th grade in a few days. I resisted as long as I could. His brother waited until he was nearly 13. The age seems to be coming down to 10. My nephew turns 10 in October and while I'd like to think my sister will point to his cousins as justification for waiting, I'm betting he gets a smart phone.

God help us.

I'm genuinely curious why you bought him one now? Mine is starting 7th, too, but not with a phone. Granted, we just moved, and he has no friends yet here, plus he'd much rather play video games than text anyone, but I am wondering what kind of pressure there is at school for phone use.

Schools communicate many things by phone. Texting and social media are a huge part of middle school existence. It reached a point where my guy was lying to his friends saying he had a phone but wasn't allowed to bring it to school. I'm as anti-phone as anyone for all the reasons outlined in The Atlantic article, but figured it was time.

Schools and coaches don't make it easy. For instance, yesterday was my 14-year-old's first day of high school swim practice, scheduled for 2 to 5. Coach tells them 30 minutes into practice that freshmen are excused at 3:30. Son texts me, I'm thankfully nearby running errands instead of driving 30 minutes home. Pre-phone this would have been unacceptable for a coach to do but now they figure everyone has phones and can just call their parents. (Still annoying from a parents' standpoint). Just one example of something similar that seems to occur weekly -- and example No.765 of how smart phones have destroyed common courtesy.
That happened to me a bunch of time in pre-cell phone era. School activity was scheduled til X, got done early. We would either find a pay phone and hope parents were home/at work or start walking home. I'm not sure you can chalk this one up to smartphones.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2017, 10:55:09 AM »
While I appreciate everyone's arguments about the positive aspects of smartphones -- such as access to useful information like DIY stuff, instant contact in emergencies, new industries that provide high-paying jobs, inexpensive ways to stay in contact with family and friends, etc. -- I don't really understand why we can't have all these benefits without getting rid of the bullying that's leading to so many teen suicides. I don't know why kids are being allowed to stay on their phones for the entire day and night and why they are not being made to leave their bedrooms and socialize in person. I certainly don't understand why more isn't being done to keep kids away from very easily accessible hardcore pornography that is warping their understanding of sexuality and relationships.

All of this could very easily be remedied with controls from parents, but parents are being extremely neglectful in this matter. They should be ashamed of themselves.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2017, 11:07:58 AM »
Quote
Pre-Facebook, you know, I'd never know who was hanging out together.

I feel exactly that way in certain physical places. From where I sit on a given day, I can hear four people I know having a lovely bruhaha, and I'm aware I was not invited. It's the shittiest feeling for me. Ironically, I'm invited to everything I'm involved in online, and almost nothing I'm connected with only offline! It's one of the reasons I prefer a dwelling away from people, with online contact so I get invited :)    The best of all worlds, in my books.

I also feel far more understood and known via written communication than via live one-on-one. I live for group play, but one-on-one is so discouraging and awful for me.

Different strokes for different folks, for sure. That's why it's great we have options!

caracarn

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2017, 11:22:01 AM »
While I appreciate everyone's arguments about the positive aspects of smartphones -- such as access to useful information like DIY stuff, instant contact in emergencies, new industries that provide high-paying jobs, inexpensive ways to stay in contact with family and friends, etc. -- I don't really understand why we can't have all these benefits without getting rid of the bullying that's leading to so many teen suicides. I don't know why kids are being allowed to stay on their phones for the entire day and night and why they are not being made to leave their bedrooms and socialize in person. I certainly don't understand why more isn't being done to keep kids away from very easily accessible hardcore pornography that is warping their understanding of sexuality and relationships.

All of this could very easily be remedied with controls from parents, but parents are being extremely neglectful in this matter. They should be ashamed of themselves.
I'm not trying to devolve this to an argument, but I would first question if you have kids yourself before you make these kinds of statements.  It's like people in a grocery store berating a harried mom because she can't get her toddler to stop screaming.  Walk a mile in someone's shoes before tossing out judgments. 

I work in technology and am a parent of many children and even with that background I feel ill equipped to combat the pervasiveness of technology.  We use a feature from out cell phone carrier that effectively shuts their phones off from doing much of anything overnight, but only one carrier has those types of safeguards.  Have you ever tried to get a teenager to leave their bedroom and socialize in person?  The first problem you'd have is finding another child who'd want to socialize with them in person because they also have no interest in doing that.  I'm not going to dig up the article and you take the finding from it or leave it, but about seven years ago I read an article where they were talking with 8-9 year olds about why they were texting their friends who lived across the street instead of going outside and playing with them or meeting up and talking together.  The overwhelming response, "Because texting is more fun than talking in person".  And this was seven years ago.  It's only gotten worse.  As i said, it's easy to tell people to be ashamed of themselves.  It's a lot harder to actually provide ideas and tools that work.

shawndoggy

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2017, 09:38:35 AM »
I just spent a week's vacation with my just-graduated HS son and six of his friends.  I have no worries about our future at all.  Sure, they're on their phones from time to time, but their also trash talking each other face to face, being physically active listening to music, and communicating effectively with a kid's parents (my wife and me).  My wife and I would go to bed early and they stayed up late every night playing monopoly of all things. 

I sorta wonder if people had these same conversations during the transition to universal literacy, where non-readers saw their kids with their noses in books coming home with "big ideas" all the time.  Of course there wouldn't be any articles about that, ya know.  I guess there were book burnings.... but it's never occurred to me until this very second that maybe part of the reason people would burn books was that they were afraid of something they couldn't understand.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2017, 10:05:03 AM »
I think it's also important to point out that kids today will never know what it's like to have privacy. They have been under surveillance by their friends, corporations, and strangers every single second of their entire lives and they know no other way to live. It seems like the only people who aren't keeping an eye on them (for many of them) are their parents.

I feel fortunate that I grew up before the internet existed in any substantial form because I am perfectly comfortable going without it. Kids today have become so dependent on technology that you end up with situations like you'll see on the news sometimes where a teenager will beat a teacher for confiscating their phone. Their technology addiction is nearly as bad as substance abuse.

I can only imagine how stressful it is for kids to know that they must be absolutely perfect every second of every day of their lives or end up as a meme to be mocked for the rest of their existence. No wonder so many of them have turned to extremism. It must feel liberating under that kind of pressure to just unleash their anger and hatred on everybody.

caracarn

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2017, 10:32:47 AM »
I think it's also important to point out that kids today will never know what it's like to have privacy. They have been under surveillance by their friends, corporations, and strangers every single second of their entire lives and they know no other way to live. It seems like the only people who aren't keeping an eye on them (for many of them) are their parents.

I feel fortunate that I grew up before the internet existed in any substantial form because I am perfectly comfortable going without it. Kids today have become so dependent on technology that you end up with situations like you'll see on the news sometimes where a teenager will beat a teacher for confiscating their phone. Their technology addiction is nearly as bad as substance abuse.

I can only imagine how stressful it is for kids to know that they must be absolutely perfect every second of every day of their lives or end up as a meme to be mocked for the rest of their existence. No wonder so many of them have turned to extremism. It must feel liberating under that kind of pressure to just unleash their anger and hatred on everybody.
All interesting points.  I'm of a similar age, where I can go without and not get the shakes.  I do get into arguments with my wife though at times because I feel she has trouble not checking here phone frequently.  Our kids then take that up to 11.  I have commented many a time that I could not imagine having someone able to snap a picture of something I did in high school and make it available worldwide.  I "know" what that is, but yet I realize I really do not.  It's just not a real worry for me, but it is a very, very real worry for my kids, and it does create this hyper vigilance that I think makes them slightly neurotic.  The conversations I have with them about how they think about these things and the pressure it places on them scare the hell out of me sometimes.  We've used counselors at times, but honestly I think they are only marginally better equipped than us parents to provide workable options.  What I have seen is while it appears easy to say you want to disconnect and unplug, that unless a large group begins to do that, you get ostracized pretty quickly.  Trying to get our kids off Snapchat or texting is next to impossible short of confiscating the phones.  They just do not speak to other kids any other way now. 

shawndoggy

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #39 on: August 10, 2017, 10:48:52 AM »
haha I'm sure that there are more than a few of us 40 somethings who are very glad that the camera wasn't there to memorialize our stupidity in perpetuity.  Because we definitely would've filmed it if we could've.  And I'd probably be unemployable.  Now those are just "glory days" stories we share when we get together.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2017, 10:54:05 AM »
Again, the privacy piece depends. Most of the kids in our community aren't allowed FB, Snapchat, etc. We don't send them off to schools, where they are unsupervised and left to the pressures of children who are mean.

Some experiences are horrific, and I talk with my kid about those -about the impact of crappy online behaviour- and why we need to prevent these.

He and his buddies aren't allowed the tools until we figure they've developed enough maturity to cope with assholes who also use them (identify asshole behaviour; opt out of a media or forum; report issues to a parent, moderator, or police; etc).

Regardless of all of this, each will likely be subject at some point -even in adulthood- to someone being an extreme jerk, so we need to work on building resiliency: How do you continue to want to stay alive after some jerk attempts to shame you?

I do think some people (regardless of age, regardless of the year the internet came into their lives) struggle more with the ability to self-regulate, moderate use (not check a phone during a live conversation, let a call go to voicemail, etc). This is the bigger piece, I think. Every individual needs to assess for themselves: How is my ability to self-regulate? Where is the struggle? What will I put in place to prevent that being an issue? Same as with alcohol, pot, sugar, etc. I don't fear a future that has these in them, because I believe most of us learn to self-regulate.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2017, 11:26:14 AM »
Again, the privacy piece depends. Most of the kids in our community aren't allowed FB, Snapchat, etc. We don't send them off to schools, where they are unsupervised and left to the pressures of children who are mean.

Some experiences are horrific, and I talk with my kid about those -about the impact of crappy online behaviour- and why we need to prevent these.

He and his buddies aren't allowed the tools until we figure they've developed enough maturity to cope with assholes who also use them (identify asshole behaviour; opt out of a media or forum; report issues to a parent, moderator, or police; etc).

Regardless of all of this, each will likely be subject at some point -even in adulthood- to someone being an extreme jerk, so we need to work on building resiliency: How do you continue to want to stay alive after some jerk attempts to shame you?

I do think some people (regardless of age, regardless of the year the internet came into their lives) struggle more with the ability to self-regulate, moderate use (not check a phone during a live conversation, let a call go to voicemail, etc). This is the bigger piece, I think. Every individual needs to assess for themselves: How is my ability to self-regulate? Where is the struggle? What will I put in place to prevent that being an issue? Same as with alcohol, pot, sugar, etc. I don't fear a future that has these in them, because I believe most of us learn to self-regulate.

I think a lot of the way that kids react to the pervasive influence of social media has to do with the culture they come from. My youngest sibling was still in high school when smartphones started to become widespread and she told me that the number of fistfights at school absolutely exploded. That goes along with some of what I've said about Hillbilly Mountain in my journal where it's understood that if a person doesn't retaliate against an insult then it means the person agrees with what was said. Cultural issues like that turn smartphones into hand grenades.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2017, 11:31:45 AM »
Quote
I think a lot of the way that kids react to the pervasive influence of social media has to do with the culture they come from.

Agreed. That's really what I'm saying, too. And one's family is one's first culture. Each school is another culture, and we have to decide whether we're willing to submit our children to any given one (if we're wealthy enough to even have that choice). The work of Gabor Mate is excellent in this matter.

galliver

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2017, 01:02:33 PM »
I found it interesting that as much as the author couched their arguments in "the causality isn't certain" etc they seemed very determined to blame smartphones for everything. And at least where decreased independence of "iGen" is concerned, I think they were wrong; I think helicopter parenting came first. And the worst part is, it wasn't just a couple of parents, it influenced culture and it influenced law enforcement. So even if you believe that your 9 year old is perfectly capable of going to the park, or your 4 year old can hang out in a locked car for 5-10 mins on a cool, cloudy day, neighbors, passers-by, and police may not share your confidence, and may cause you trouble (examples pulled from high-profile news stories). There's basically a widespread cultural idea that kids *should* be supervised at all times...and I do believe that hampers their independence and maturity in more than just those specific ways, because all of development is tied together. And when they find a place (albeit virtual) where they're allowed to have the socializing and privacy and independence they crave, of course they embrace it.

As a sidebar, I don't really understand hating social media for the content. The content is produced by the people you are supposedly friends with. If you don't care for them to share what's exciting in their lives--their trip, their new pet, their new baby, their new kitchen, their accomplishments at the gym, the new recipe they tried, ideas and causes they're excited about, etc--why are you friends? They seem to be adding nothing to your life! I also love to be proud of my friends accomplishments, and happy for them when they can meet up, or travel, or have a beautiful wedding, even if I wasn't invited or couldn't partake. Yes, I'm human so sometimes I'm in a mood and I do have those thoughts like "oh, why didn't they invite me?" or "I want to go to Europe" or whatever. And then I facepunch myself because I learned back when I was 12, 13, 15 that people *gasp* had relationships that didn't include me, same way that I had relationships that didn't include them; that jealousy was a stupid, useless emotion that only undermined relationships; and that if you're lonely *YOU* need to take the initiative and plan something, rather than waiting for someone else to invite you. (PS I've found FB to be pretty handy for organizing camping trips, potlucks, beach trips, and so forth...just sayin')

Back to the topic of teens/tweens...in spite of all the contraindications, I think it would be more harmful, individually, to ban a kid from the tech and the communities. You'd be setting them up to be ostracized and bullied if they're the only one (or one of a handful) that don't have access. But like any tool that cuts both ways, there does need to be a period of supervision, and teaching. My intuitive sense is that elementary school is too young for anything but using parents' phone to play an occasional game or video-call gram&gramps. High schoolers, especially older ones, I think ought to have learned proper behavior and earned some right to privacy at that point (perhaps not each one, but in general, or at least the "good ones")...it's just embarrassing to have your parents snoop your phone at 16 or 17. So I guess 12-14 makes sense, in my mind, for a kid to use a phone as a strictly regulated and supervised privilege, not a right.

Couple other thoughts that just didn't seem to fit anywhere... I remember not liking having my dad read/watch what I was doing online as a young teen...not because I was doing something wrong/forbidden! I was just embarrassed. As an adult now, I can see he just has a tendency to be casually dismissive and belittling, and I can see that as a flaw and I have learned not to take it personally. But as a kid, I didn't want to additionally expose myself to that by having him read what I was emailing my friend or whatever. Take your kids seriously, and reaffirm the little silliness as good fun so that they can come to you and will listen to you on the big things. Yes, it can be hard to tell...which is my second point. Teen girl drama is eternal. It's happened in person, it's happened over the phone, it's happened through email and blogs and on AIM/gChat/WhatsApp and on myspace and on facebook and now on instagram, snapchat and it will happen on whatever comes next. I think fighting it has more to do with building relationships and teaching kindness than anything technology-specific. Technology can make poison and vitriol easier, but it has to be there in the first place. Know your kid, their friends, the friends' parents, the teachers, the coaches, etc. Talk about what (social/verbal/cyber) bullying is and why it's not acceptable (the "toothpaste lesson" comes to mind: http://meaningfulmama.com/day-62-kindness-with-toothpaste-week-9.html), and also how to fight it as a bystander. Help them build and maintain relationships with kids from other circles (outside of school)--maybe from sports, or camp. I think one thing that saved me in the middle school/early HS years was that I had a pretty close-knit group of family friends (families met/bonded through each other on a cultural and language basis), so even on the occasion there was a social falling out at school, I still had friends to confide in or proverbially cry on.

shawndoggy

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2017, 01:10:54 PM »
wish there was a like button for Galliver's post.  Great insight!

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2017, 01:34:12 PM »
Yes, there was moral panic about novels when they were first introduced.

An excerpt from "The Novel-Reading Panic in 18thCentury
in England: An Outline of an
Early Moral Media Panic"
 http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/49661

"Women, of every age, of every condition, contract and retain a taste for
novels […T]he depravity is universal. My sight is every-where offended by
these foolish, yet dangerous, books. I find them on the toilette of fashion,
and in the work-bag of the sempstress; in the hands of the lady, who
lounges on the sofa, and of the lady, who sits at the counter. From the mistresses
of nobles they descend to the mistresses of snuff-shops – from the
belles who read them in town, to the chits who spell them in the country. I
have actually seen mothers, in miserable garrets, crying for the imaginary
distress of an heroine, while their children were crying for bread: and the
mistress of a family losing hours over a novel in the parlour, while her
maids, in emulation of the example, were similarly employed in the kitchen.
I have seen a scullion-wench with a dishclout in one hand, and a novel in
the other, sobbing o’er the sorrows of Julia, or a Jemima
(Sylph no. 5, October 6, 1796: 36-37)1"
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caracarn

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2017, 02:36:12 PM »
Galliver, some good points.  I agree with the majority of what you write but I'd like to push back on the last paragraph somewhat with a situation we are living right now.

You indicate that "teen girl drama is eternal", and I totally agree, but what has changed with devices and worldwide networks is the scope and it has changed the paradigm.  It is VERY, VERY different and cannot always just be handled with the tools we have used forever, i.e. parenting conversations and a shoulder to cry on.  Culture has also changed and so reactions we used to think were common or safeguards, like other parents supporting us, as now not always there.  This hits on some of what you said in your first paragraph and I agree, it has changed our culture for the worse to not allow kids independence like we had as a kids.

My daughter has been friends with another girl since we moved into the school district, which was seven years ago now.  They were besties, very involved and very into what each of them did.  At the start of last school year her friend's boyfriend wanted to cheat on her with my daughter.  My daughter went and told her friend that he made a pass at her, but her friend chose to side with her boyfriend who said my daughter made it all up.  This is all as you say, eternal "teen girl drama".  What has happened after that with the aid of tech is the difference.  Where in the past this would be confined to a small circle of friends very quickly became a social media mess that spread through the school with her best friend basically slut shaming my daughter all over every platform to the entire school population and beyond.  My daughter navigated that relatively well by avoiding it and simply trying to take the high road but very quickly the girls mother got involved and contacted the school principal and basically asked them to tell my daughter to change her story of else because her daughter's reputation was being questioned for what she was doing, so even though here daughter was basically the one posting anything on social media (my daughter simply kept trying to have face-to-face conversations with her to no avail) her mother was claiming that my daughter was making her post those things and that by posting those things some people were upset with her daughter.  We felt like we were in the Twilight Zone because the school basically asked them to stop speaking because they were afraid of a lawsuit by that parent.  The situation kept going all year because it had moved to social media.  People my daughter only knew in passing began avoiding here because of the lies spread by her best friend and it was a very difficult year for my daughter.  She's still going to counseling over it and she frankly is not looking forward to her senior year because she's worried it will still be lingering on.  So while at the root it is all teen girl drama, the technology takes it to a whole new level with speed and scope that was virtually impossible until we had the technology.  Couple that with a parent who would not even engage with my wife and I when we tried to talk with her, but instead kept demanding the school do something and posting her own rants on social media about the lack of school response and it creates some real world issues for families like ours. 

galliver

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2017, 06:43:52 PM »
Galliver, some good points.  I agree with the majority of what you write but I'd like to push back on the last paragraph somewhat with a situation we are living right now.

You indicate that "teen girl drama is eternal", and I totally agree, but what has changed with devices and worldwide networks is the scope and it has changed the paradigm.  It is VERY, VERY different and cannot always just be handled with the tools we have used forever, i.e. parenting conversations and a shoulder to cry on.  Culture has also changed and so reactions we used to think were common or safeguards, like other parents supporting us, as now not always there.  This hits on some of what you said in your first paragraph and I agree, it has changed our culture for the worse to not allow kids independence like we had as a kids.

My daughter has been friends with another girl since we moved into the school district, which was seven years ago now.  They were besties, very involved and very into what each of them did.  At the start of last school year her friend's boyfriend wanted to cheat on her with my daughter.  My daughter went and told her friend that he made a pass at her, but her friend chose to side with her boyfriend who said my daughter made it all up.  This is all as you say, eternal "teen girl drama".  What has happened after that with the aid of tech is the difference.  Where in the past this would be confined to a small circle of friends very quickly became a social media mess that spread through the school with her best friend basically slut shaming my daughter all over every platform to the entire school population and beyond.  My daughter navigated that relatively well by avoiding it and simply trying to take the high road but very quickly the girls mother got involved and contacted the school principal and basically asked them to tell my daughter to change her story of else because her daughter's reputation was being questioned for what she was doing, so even though here daughter was basically the one posting anything on social media (my daughter simply kept trying to have face-to-face conversations with her to no avail) her mother was claiming that my daughter was making her post those things and that by posting those things some people were upset with her daughter.  We felt like we were in the Twilight Zone because the school basically asked them to stop speaking because they were afraid of a lawsuit by that parent.  The situation kept going all year because it had moved to social media.  People my daughter only knew in passing began avoiding here because of the lies spread by her best friend and it was a very difficult year for my daughter.  She's still going to counseling over it and she frankly is not looking forward to her senior year because she's worried it will still be lingering on.  So while at the root it is all teen girl drama, the technology takes it to a whole new level with speed and scope that was virtually impossible until we had the technology.  Couple that with a parent who would not even engage with my wife and I when we tried to talk with her, but instead kept demanding the school do something and posting her own rants on social media about the lack of school response and it creates some real world issues for families like ours.

caracarn, I'm so deeply and genuinely sorry your daughter (and your whole family by extension) is going through that. I sincerely hope she has a better time in senior year; partly from the issue blowing over, partly from hopefully finding some friends that put no stock in it. It's hard to make friends on the tail end of school like that, but I moved before my junior year and I can say it's both worth it and possible!

I realized after I wrote my post that it might sound...prescriptive, like I have all the answers for avoiding getting burned by social media. And I really don't and I didn't intend to sound that way. I had identified a few pitfalls from my own experience, but as you point out...even if *you* do everything right, you can still be hurt by others, and it deeply, deeply sucks. My point was more that...I see communication/social media use as a lot like sexuality (i.e. not just sex but "liking", flirting, hand-holding, kissing, etc). It can be enjoyable and healthy and developmentally appropriate! But it's also complicated, and has the potential to hurt; engaging with it opens up vulnerabilities. Nonetheless, if you teach abstinence-only and shield a teen from any mention at every turn, they may (a) be ostracized by peers to a psychologically damaging degree (b) hide their activities from you with redoubled effort (c) go off the handle when they graduate/move out/become adults oh and (d) taken advantage of due to their ignorance! And while you might chaperone at first, and prevent/forbid situations that might lend themselves to risky behavior, eventually it becomes creepily invasive and/or a losing battle (once they're working/driving/having study groups/hanging with friends...which are all healthy things to do!). So instead, you teach them the values of respect and consent and teach them the pitfalls of STDs and pregnancy and reiterate that you wish they wouldn't...but if they do, be safe (and respectful). And then when they do have more freedom to go out on their own, they have the practical knowledge to understand and deal with situations they encounter. Perhaps that's still not as "safe" emotionally or physically as house arrest followed by arranged marriage, but I think we all know that strategy has its own pitfalls, especially when applied on a societal scale.

Again, really sorry for what you're going through and I hope it looks up for her this coming school year. And man, that mom. Moms are a whole other story...two of my childhood friends' moms are reportedly still not talking after a mean-girls situation with their daughters. About 10 years ago. Your daughter's friends mom sounds rather helicopter/steamroller...must protect child from all difficulties! Can't admit child has flaws!

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2017, 06:49:15 PM »
Quote
I see communication/social media use as a lot like sexuality (i.e. not just sex but "liking", flirting, hand-holding, kissing, etc). It can be enjoyable and healthy and developmentally appropriate! But it's also complicated, and has the potential to hurt; engaging with it opens up vulnerabilities. Nonetheless, if you teach abstinence-only and shield a teen from any mention at every turn, they may (a) be ostracized by peers to a psychologically damaging degree (b) hide their activities from you with redoubled effort (c) go off the handle when they graduate/move out/become adults oh and (d) taken advantage of due to their ignorance! And while you might chaperone at first, and prevent/forbid situations that might lend themselves to risky behavior, eventually it becomes creepily invasive and/or a losing battle (once they're working/driving/having study groups/hanging with friends...which are all healthy things to do!). So instead, you teach them the values of respect and consent and teach them the pitfalls of STDs and pregnancy and reiterate that you wish they wouldn't...but if they do, be safe (and respectful). And then when they do have more freedom to go out on their own, they have the practical knowledge to understand and deal with situations they encounter. Perhaps that's still not as "safe" emotionally or physically as house arrest followed by arranged marriage, but I think we all know that strategy has its own pitfalls, especially when applied on a societal scale.

YES. This balance (or great effort toward balance) is key.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: How smart phones are destroying a generation
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2017, 08:29:53 PM »
Yes, there was moral panic about novels when they were first introduced.

An excerpt from "The Novel-Reading Panic in 18thCentury
in England: An Outline of an
Early Moral Media Panic"
 http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/49661

"Women, of every age, of every condition, contract and retain a taste for
novels […T]he depravity is universal. My sight is every-where offended by
these foolish, yet dangerous, books. I find them on the toilette of fashion,
and in the work-bag of the sempstress; in the hands of the lady, who
lounges on the sofa, and of the lady, who sits at the counter. From the mistresses
of nobles they descend to the mistresses of snuff-shops – from the
belles who read them in town, to the chits who spell them in the country. I
have actually seen mothers, in miserable garrets, crying for the imaginary
distress of an heroine, while their children were crying for bread: and the
mistress of a family losing hours over a novel in the parlour, while her
maids, in emulation of the example, were similarly employed in the kitchen.
I have seen a scullion-wench with a dishclout in one hand, and a novel in
the other, sobbing o’er the sorrows of Julia, or a Jemima
(Sylph no. 5, October 6, 1796: 36-37)1"

Just because people were worried about novels and it wasn't a problem that doesn't mean that smartphones are not a problem. It's kind of like how people in the 1890s were worried that the world was going to destroy itself and now we have nuclear weapons.