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The Case for Phone-Free Schools [Content Made Simple]
Issue #314: Apple Vision Pro, TikTok surveillance, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK
One way that phones have hurt our relationships is through “phubbing” (a contraction of “phone snubbing”), when a person breaks away from a conversation to look at their screen. Research shows that it interferes with the intimacy and perceived quality of social interactions. People who are more addicted to their phones are, unsurprisingly, the biggest phubbers, which may explain why people who are the heaviest users of phones and/or social media are also the most depressed and lonely.
Jonathan Haidt does some great work handling research regarding phone use and students. I write about social media, not phones, but this is a good article you should read if you have any connection to teens and students. It’s long, so, you’ve been warned.
THE TRIVIA QUESTION
In 1985, Steve Jobs quit his job leading Apple. He eventually returned to the company, leading it to become what it is today. When did he return to Apple?
Answer at the bottom.
HITTING THE LINKS
I tweeted my thoughts on Apple’s announcement of Vision Pro. The technology is clearly impressive and Apple has introduced a category-defining device for VR/AR. And I am as big of an Apple fanboy as anyone I know. But after watching 40 minutes of marketing, examples of use, and otherwise, I left wondering the same thing as Ian Bogost in this article, “Why?”
Sure, I’d like to see my son for mini golf and take a swim with killer whales—but doing so wouldn’t have to mean the end of all conventional computers. Not everything needs to be a revolution to bear value. Goggles could just be for things you do sometimes and enjoy, like bowling with your friends. In theory, the new technology could end up being useful, modest, and low-key.
But if that’s the case, then how will goggles ever justify the tens of billions of dollars that have been bet on their universal adoption? Proponents of the goggle age are unperturbed by this conundrum. When pressed, they raise what I’d call the nerd’s objection. Every new, transformative device, they say, seems like a toy in the beginning, with narrow uses. Headsets are no different.
Good good good good good.
TikTok's owner ByteDance has been accused of allowing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members to access the data of Hong Kong civil rights activists and protesters.
Users who uploaded "protest-related content" were also identified and monitored, former ByteDance executive Yintao Yu alleges in a US court filing.
This story is so weird. Haha. And such a wild creator.
One afternoon earlier this month at a convention center in Hamburg, Germany, fragrance influencer Jeremy Fragrance runs out on stage dressed in all white and begins leading the crowd in a chant. “Kraft,” Fragrance yells (it’s German for “power”). The crowd yells it back. Minutes later, in the middle of being interviewed, Fragrance leaps from his seat and starts doing one-handed push-ups.
An onlooker turns to GQ: “People who act like this have something very wrong inside of them.”
THE FUNNY PART
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Trivia answer: 1997 after Apple acquired Jobs’ company NeXT.
The only use case for Apple’s Vision Pro device that remotely intrigued me was for watching movies/sporting events. That looked cool. But I almost never watch such things by myself! So what good would such a device be?