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iPhone designer recognises screen time issue

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iphone designer recognises screen time issue

iPhone changes the world

It’s 10 years ago that the first iPhone was presented. Perhaps you remember what a massive paradigm shifting event it was. Or if you’re a younger parent, it’s possible that your formative years occurred after the arrival of the iPhone. Since then smartphones including the iPhone have become an integral part of our life. And most of our kids can’t even imagine what mobile phone use looked like in the “pre-iPhone” world.

Now we use our smartphones for all sorts of different things. Seems like one of the main things we do there though is spend time on social media. And our kids and teens, deem this area of life even more essential.

Use and misuse

Apple design chief (and iPhone designer) Jony Ive uses the description “constant use” to outline what iPhone misuse might look like, having recognised first that when it comes to the iPhone, “Like any tool, you can see there’s wonderful use and then there’s misuse”. Personally I’d want to my own definition of phone misuse to sound more like “excessive use”, but it’s very similar idea.

This aggregation of smartphone research shows that in 2017 the average American adult spends almost 3 hours on their smartphone every day. While this use does come with some benefits, when you look at their breakdown of what we spend a lot of our time doing, a very large percent of it is spent on social media. Given that even the physical presence of our smartphone can have a negative effect on brain productivity, this is not great news.

Smart use of smartphones

As parents, we need to teach our kids to use smartphones in a smart way. They hold so much potential to be a helpful instrument for personal development and entertainment, but used excessively they can have a negative impact both psychologically and physically.

Perhaps they need a “use responsibly” label, à la alcohol labelling? It’s not quite as ridiculous an idea as it initially sounds, but I don’t really think it would be effective. We need to be developing good habits ourselves. Modelling them and talking about them with our kids. And setting appropriate boundaries on their device use when they’re not able to control their own behaviour.

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