Kids are starting a revolution to get their parents to put down their phones

smartphone

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Like many seven-year-olds, Emil Rustige gets ticked off when his parents pay attention to their phones instead of him. But unlike other kids, Emil decided to take the issue to the streets.

With the help of his parents, Rustige organized a demonstration on Sept. 8th in his hometown of Hamburg, Germany, with 150 people joining him to encourage parents to put down their phones.

The slogan for the demonstration: ”Play with ME, not with your cell phones!”

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How to Make This the Summer of Missing Out

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“To me, it’s about setting boundaries,” said Cara Wenig, 30, a sales rep and JOMO practitioner. “In my work, it is really important to respond quickly and to be on top of things so it’s not as if I can completely unplug. But I can be more mindful about it.”

Given JOMO’s Luddite bent, it’s (perhaps) surprising that the tech industry has recently come on board. This spring, Sundar Pichai, the C.E.O. of Google, took the stage at the company’s annual developer conference with the words “Joy of Missing Out” projected behind him.

Mr. Pichai was announcing a new “digital wellbeing” initiative that aims to encourage healthier tech habits via several tools, including a dashboard on its newest Android that shows you how much time you spend per app, suggested breaks from marathon sessions and batched notifications to avoid the update-every-second situation.

All of which means missing out can be a good thing. But how best to do it?

Mom Was Shamed For Staring at Her Phone in Post-Birth Photo – Her Snapback Is SO Good

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Unfortunately, though, mommy shamers were quick to pounce on the new mom of five.

Many judged her drink of choice, but most called her out for not being more present with her just-born baby. One commented sarcastically, “it’s important to check your phone right now.” Another wrote, “she’s obviously googling parental advice.”

Although most of the negative comments were deleted, her legion of fans stepped in, sharing not only that she earned that hard-fought soda but that there was likely a very good reason she was on her phone.

The Dangers of Distracted Parenting

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…emerging research suggests that a key problem remains underappreciated. It involves kids’ development, but it’s probably not what you think. More than screen-obsessed young children, we should be concerned about tuned-out parents.

Yes, parents now have more face time with their children than did almost any parents in history. Despite a dramatic increase in the percentage of women in the workforce, mothers today astoundingly spend more time caring for their children than mothers did in the 1960s. But the engagement between parent and child is increasingly low-quality, even ersatz. Parents are constantly present in their children’s lives physically, but they are less emotionally attuned. To be clear, I’m not unsympathetic to parents in this predicament. My own adult children like to joke that they wouldn’t have survived infancy if I’d had a smartphone in my clutches 25 years ago.

…Yet for all the talk about children’s screen time, surprisingly little attention is paid to screen use by parents themselves, who now suffer from what the technology expert Linda Stone more than 20 years ago called “continuous partial attention.” This condition is harming not just us, as Stone has argued; it is harming our children. The new parental-interaction style can interrupt an ancient emotional cueing system, whose hallmark is responsive communication, the basis of most human learning. We’re in uncharted territory.

Distraction is the New Censorship

Statues of men wearing headphones

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In today’s attention economy, ideas don’t need to be deleted or redacted to be silenced. They can be drowned out privately, screen by screen, by unchecked noise from decoy bots, doxxing campaigns, and filter bubbles.

In WIRED‘s Free Speech issue, Zeynep Tufekci describes how so many of the “most noble old ideas about free speech simply don’t compute in the age of social media.”

How I Got My Attention Back

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There are a thousand beautiful ways to start the day that don’t begin with looking at your phone. And yet so few of us choose to do so.

Was I being too hard on technology? Were we all? Technology is such an easy scapegoat. But it feels so right to point our fingers — It must have been the fake news. It must have been Facebook. It must have been Twitter. It must have been Reddit forums.

It was none of these things. It was all of these things. Whatever it was, it robbed us of our attention and, with that, our compassion. But the network never meant to harm us. Hell, it was made by a gaggle of geeks in rooms without windows in the suburbs of Geneva. That’s either the most endearing image, or the most creepy.

Regardless, down in Virginia, on a repurposed plantation: I want my attention back. The thought wouldn’t let go.

Apple’s Don’t Disturb While Driving Mode Is a Blunt Answer to a Nuanced Problem

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Apple announced a bunch of whizz-bang thingamabobs at its Worldwide Developers Conference this week—a new iPad, the Homepod, smart security upgrades. But it’s a little fanfared feature that might save the most lives: Do Not Disturb While Driving mode extends the company’s existing Do Not Disturb mode to the car. The original is great for meetings and naps; the newcomer might prevent you from killing yourself and others.