There are times when the staff at Mac360 chooses their own topics, whether commentary or reviews. Occasionally, we receive a specific assignment. In this case, I got the short straw and get the privilege of weighing in on a topic that will only grow in the future.
Are our children being harmed by iPhone addiction? Remember, I’m the writer with children, so I remain a bit more qualified to respond with the correct answer. Addiction? Yes. Harmed? Probably, but let’s err on the side of Yes.
It’s All Addictive
Right at the top allow me some room on the soapbox to voice an opinion. A related opinion. I am, therefore, I think. Or, put another way, I’m human, therefore, I can get addicted, and we see this kind of addiction– think dopamine– almost everywhere throughout society. Are we addicted to sex? Uh huh. How about food and drink? Oh yeah. Facebook and text messaging? Yep.
iPhone? Of course.
Now. what impact does that have on Apple’s future customers? And what effect is it having on our children now? A few of Apple’s larger shareholders have asked the company to create more ways for parents to restrict children’s access to their mobile phones. I’m sure they made a similar request of Google, Facebook, Samsung, and Amazon. You know. In the public interest.
Of course, Apple already has parental controls but a quick neighborhood survey of iPhone toting youth tells me what you probably already know. Nobody uses those controls. Maybe a future version of Face ID will determine the iPhone or iPad user’s age and respond accordingly by limiting websites and applications that could be harmful to children, but then, who monitors the monitors?
The investors in questions own about $2-billion worth of Apple shares, so if that sounds like they have influence, consider that Apple’s stock is worth almost $900-billion, so we’re talking about a flea trying to influence the direction of an elephant.
Back to the questions. Is their addiction to iPhones, iPads, tablets, and smartphones, et al? Yes. Look around. People get killed while driving, while walking across the street, while owning an expensive device that somebody with a knife or gun wants to appropriate, and we don’t do much about any of it other than complain.
What’s the harm of such addictions? As much as we might think of our devices as ever moving, ever opening and closing windows to the rest of the world and humanity, that’s not the case. Facebook works by getting us to release more dopamine with every follow and like. Humans like such little warm and fuzzies by nature, and I don’t see human nature changing too much despite shareholders with a conscience. Parents with concern, maybe.
Addictions themselves are harmful to humans; some more so than others, but we walk through a minefield of such addiction opportunities each day and the species is still here. We may not be the better for having such iDevices in our lives, but they’re here, they’re not going away, and we need to learn how to use them to our benefit more than just our pleasure, dopamine notwithstanding.