A quick reaction to Jason Kottke’s Screen addiction (or why Grandma’s sad). First, it’s a great post, make sure to go read the whole thing. In it, Jason writes:
Phones allow people to be with the people they love the most all the time, which is the way humans probably used to be, until technology allowed for greater freedom of movement around the globe. People spending time on their phones in the presence of others aren’t necessarily rude because rudeness is a social contract about appropriate behavior and, as Hermann points out, social norms can vary widely between age groups.
As a parent of a teenager, danah boyd’s book was incredibly enlightening for me. My daughter isn’t addicted to her phone, she’s addicted to her friends. And because she’s hyper-scheduled and lives miles away from most of her friends, iMessage is her lifeline to that addiction. When we put limits on her phone usage, it’s not really about “screen time,” per se, it’s about making sure she’s balancing her social life with the rest of her obligations: to family, chores, school work, etc.