The Phones We Love Too Much

Excerpt from this article:

We have an intimate relationship with our phones. We sleep with them, eat with them and carry them in our pockets. We check them, on average, 47 times a day — 82 times if you’re between 18 and 24 years old, according to recent data.

And we love them for good reason: They tell the weather, the time of day and the steps we’ve taken. They find us dates (and sex), entertain us with music and connect us to friends and family. They answer our questions and quell feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

But phone love can go too far — so far that it can interfere with human love — old fashioned face-to-face intimacy with that living and breathing being you call your partner, spouse, lover or significant other.

The conflict between phone love and human love is so common, it has its own lexicon. If you’re snubbing your partner in favor of your phone it’s called phubbing (phone + snubbing). If you’re snubbing a person in favor of any type of technology, it’s called technoference. A popular song by Lost Kings even asks: “Why don’t you put that [expletive] phone down?”

TED Talk: You Don’t Need an App For That

After sharing a link to my stories about creative uses of technology in developing and emerging markets, a colleague sent through a link to this great TED talk: “While the rest of the world is updating statuses and playing games on smartphones, Africa is developing useful SMS-based solutions to everyday needs, says journalist Toby Shapshak. In this eye-opening talk, Shapshak explores the frontiers of mobile invention in Africa as he asks us to reconsider our preconceived notions of innovation.”

Thanks Chris T. for the link!

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/toby_shapshak_you_don_t_need_an_app_for_that.html

5 Things You Can Get in India With a Missed Call

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Want to transfer funds from your account? Give your bank a missed call. Want to hear Bollywood music? Dial a number and hang up.

Making a missed call by calling a number and letting it ring is a popular way of communicating in India because the caller doesn’t have to spend money. Marketing companies, politicians, banks and others now use this practice to reach millions who have cellphones but limited means.

Here are five things you can do in India by ringing a number and hanging up.

Children and their mobiles: psychologists’ views on a modern obsession

Girl using her mobile phone in bed

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Parents should not constantly check their phones…

Young people need boundaries. Relying on self-management for children may not work well – when the technology is there, they tend to use it. I don’t think schools should necessarily employ an outright ban but one approach might be to bring children, teachers and parents together and draw up some guidance. If children are involved in setting rules they are more likely to adhere to them and enforce them in others. They would also need to decide on sanctions for those who break them…

Banish phones at bedtime and during homework

…Parents should make sure that young people don’t sleep with their phones – get an alarm clock instead. It’s important to talk to young people about sleep mistakes and make sure that they have a consistent night-time routine.

 

Clash Of The Screens: Should Movie Theaters Allow Texting? AMC Says Maybe

The CEO of AMC Entertainment says he is considering allowing texting during some movie showings at AMC Theaters. A good thing? Our pop culture blogger and movie critic weigh in.The CEO of AMC Entertainment says he is considering allowing texting during some movie showings at AMC Theaters. A good thing? Our pop culture blogger and movie critic weigh in.Should texting be allowed at some movie screenings?

Excerpt from this article and be sure to listen to the short radio story that features the debate:

Texting at the movies is usually annoying and usually banned. But the CEO of the giant movie theater chain AMC says maybe it’s time to rethink that.

AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron floated a trial balloon in an interview with Variety at CinemaCon, a film industry trade convention, saying the chain has considered adding showings where using your cellphone will be allowed.

The reason?

“When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear, please cut off your left arm above the elbow,” Aron told Variety. “You can’t tell a 22-year-old to turn off their cellphone. That’s not how they live their life.”

NPR’s pop culture blogger Linda Holmes and movie critic Bob Mondello weighed in. Bob adopted the curmudgeon role; Linda talked him down from the ledge.

See also this story about how movie theatre ushers in China shine laserpointers at people who use their phone there.

Update: AMC Backs Down From Allowing Texting in Theatres: “We have heard loud and clear that this is a concept our audience does not want. In this age of social media, we get feedback from you almost instantaneously and, as such, we are constantly listening. Accordingly, just as instantaneously, this is an idea we have relegated to the cutting room floor.”

Update 2: Why the panic about texting in cinemas? Phones can breathe new life into old space

 

A New Weapon for Battling Cellphones in Theaters: Laser Beams

Ushers aiming lasers at a patron using a cellphone at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Credit Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times

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Audience members using cellphones bedevil performers and presenters around the world. But in China, theaters and other venues have adopted what they say is an effective — others might say disturbing — solution.

Zap them with a laser beam.

The approach varies, but the idea is the same. During a performance, ushers equipped with laser pointers are stationed above, or on the perimeter of, the audience. When they spot a lighted mobile phone, instead of dashing over to the offender, they pounce with a pointer (usually red or green), aiming it at the glowing screen until the user desists.

Call it laser shaming.

Xu Chun, 27, who was in the audience for “Carmen” at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing last month, said: “Of course it’s distracting. But seeing lighted-up screens is even more distracting.”

This may be a response to a particularly acute problem here. Audience numbers have surged in recent years, along with the number of new performance spaces. And theatergoers are often noticeably younger than in the United States and Europe, with a corresponding lack of experience with Western-style concert etiquette. The lasers, theater managers say, are part of a larger effort to teach audiences how to behave during live performances.