The Ubiquity of Smartphones, as Captured by Photographers

Excerpt  from this article (full of excellent photos!):

With so many devices in so many hands now, the visual landscape has changed greatly, making it a rare event to find oneself in a group of people anywhere in the world and not see at least one of them using a phone. Collected here: a look at that smartphone landscape, and some of the stories of the phones’ owners.

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France Bans Smartphones in Schools Through 9th Grade. Will It Help Students?

Excerpt from this article:

The eighth-grade girls already know what to expect from France’s new smartphone ban in all primary and middle schools because their school voluntarily instituted one last year.

“Annoying,” was the assessment of Zoélinh Masson, 12, as her friend Grace Blahourou, 13, agreed.

Still, they said that with no smartphones, students did talk to one another more.

France’s education ministry hopes that its smartphone ban, which took effect at the beginning of September and applies to students from first through ninth grades, will get schoolchildren to pay more attention in class and interact more, and several studies suggest such correlations.

Taking Away the Phones Won’t Solve Our Teenagers’ Problems

Excerpt from this article:

…I’ve come to believe that conventional wisdom about the relationship between troubled kids and their favorite technology is wrong.

Although some research does show that excessive and compulsive smartphone use is correlated with anxiety and depression, there is a lack of direct evidence that devices actually cause mental health problems.

In other words, there simply does not yet exist a prospective longitudinal study showing that, all things being equal, teenagers who use smartphones more often or in certain ways are more likely than their fellows to subsequently develop mental illness.

In the meantime, we can’t just blame the machines. This is especially important because if smartphones aren’t a direct cause of teenagers’ mental health struggles, their use might instead be a crucial way in which these struggles are expressed. This calls for a different set of solutions.

Why Don’t We Dream About Our Smartphones?

Excerpt from this article:

[This theory] basically suggests that the reason why we dream is that dreams allow us to work through our anxieties and our fears in a more low-risk environment, so we’re able to practice for stressful events,” says Robb. This hypothesis also posits that because our dreams are an evolved defense mechanism, we tend to dream more often about fears and concerns that were relevant to our ancestors — so, less about, say, hacking, and more about running from wild animals. “People tend not to dream quite as much about reading and writing, which are more recent developments in human history, and more about survival related things, like fighting, even if that has nothing to do with who you are in real life,” says Robb.

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

Excerpt from this article:

More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

…the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.

Today’s teens are also less likely to date. The initial stage of courtship, which Gen Xers called “liking” (as in “Ooh, he likes you!”), kids now call “talking”—an ironic choice for a generation that prefers texting to actual conversation. After two teens have “talked” for a while, they might start dating. But only about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates; for Boomers and Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent.

…Even driving, a symbol of adolescent freedom inscribed in American popular culture, from Rebel Without a Cause to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, has lost its appeal for today’s teens. Nearly all Boomer high-school students had their driver’s license by the spring of their senior year; more than one in four teens today still lack one at the end of high school. For some, Mom and Dad are such good chauffeurs that there’s no urgent need to drive. “My parents drove me everywhere and never complained, so I always had rides,” a 21-year-old student in San Diego told me. “I didn’t get my license until my mom told me I had to because she could not keep driving me to school.” She finally got her license six months after her 18th birthday. In conversation after conversation, teens described getting their license as something to be nagged into by their parents—a notion that would have been unthinkable to previous generations.

Nielsen: Age 10 is mobile adoption sweet spot

Kid-Smartphone

Excerpt from this article:

Given the ubiquity of smartphones among today’s kids, gaining insight on usage patterns and mobile motivations is an ongoing endeavor—and one that Nielsen has undertaken in its most recent Mobile Kids Report.

Released today, the Q4 2016 study examined smartphone usage among US kids ages six to 12, as well as their parents’ attitudes towards mobile devices and wireless services.

Among the findings is the fact that age 10 appears to be a sweet spot for mobile service adoption (22%), followed by age eight (16%). Ages nine and 11 are tied at 15%. Just under half (45%) of US kids receive a service plan between the ages of 10 and 12…

Of the parents surveyed, 90% say being able to easily reach their child was their top reason for providing wireless service before the age of 13, while 80% admit they give their child access to wireless service in order to track his or her location.

 

Rude Daycare Shames Moms for Using Phones During Pick-Up

Excerpt from this article:

According to Mom.me’s Jeanne Sager, the sign was posted at a Texas daycare, where mother Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz spotted it and posted a photo of it to Facebook. Of course, the combination of daycare and phones is like blood in the water for the sanctimony sharks, and the picture is blowing up with more than 380,000 shares so far. A lot of them are cheering on the daycare, because you just know they’ve been waiting their whole lives to talk about this kind of “neglect,” preferably with a lot of exclamation points and pointed comments about how they “never” do that.

Still, many of the comments are defending the hypothetical phone-moms, pointing out that there are a lot of things these people could be forced to take care of at right that moment. (Are you a doctor? A lawyer? Waiting for important medical test results? Maybe you’d better pick up your phone when it rings.)