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How smartphone addiction and social media is hurting our children

A couple of Apple investors recently asked the company to do more to protect children from smartphone addiction.  They say that iPhone addiction is not only real, but that it causes an increased risk of anxiety, depression and even suicide for Apples youngest users.  Is Apple likely to listen to the preaching?

 

Likely, yes, considering the choir are big fish investors in Apple.  The California State Teachers’ Retirement System and the JANA Partners Investment group together own more than 2 billion in Apple stock.  In addition to authoring an open letter to Apple on January 6, 2018, the two groups also established a website where they published the Open Letter to the public.

The open letter cites some very alarming conclusions about smartphone addiction.  For instance, the average American teen gets their first cell phone at the age of 10 and spends nearly 5 hours a day on it, the investors wrote. They added that 78 percent of teens check their phones on at least an hourly basis, while 50 percent admit to having an addiction to their phone.  So the question arises, are makers of smartphones solely responsible for restricting access to kids, while at the same time other technology giants are doing the exact opposite?  And where does parental responsibility begin and end in all of this?

 

 

The social media giant Facebook just recently launched a new messaging platform – and it’s targeting children directly.  The app called Messenger Kids has recently put the social media giant at the forefront of this debate.  Knowing the adverse effects of children’s phone addiction, should social media companies be targeting young children?  Messenger Kids target market are children under the age of 13, and it encourages kids to to send photos, videos and texts to other children.

Is there a contradiction here?  One tech company is being asked to limit kids usage, while the other is encouraging it. Do you blame the smartphone giant or the social media giant, both who highly depend on young consumers for their future market share.

In a dog eat dog tech world, maybe the best answer is that everyone is responsible.  When it comes to children’s safety and technology, the best solution is likely a three pronged approach.  Everyone including Apple, Facebook and parents should all work together to ensure that kids are safe from a tech overload.

 

 

The iPhone and the Facebook App should each provide parents with all the necessary tools to enable parents to properly monitor and regulate their children to ensure their well being.  Parents should then proactively use those tools to prevent phone addiction before it starts.   Here is some good information on phone addiction, treatment options and case studies that show how phone addiction can negatively impact brain development in our children.  Let us know what you think about this important topic in our comments section.

How Amazon is fighting Netflix in a growing video market

Last night at the Golden Globes, one of Amazon’s originally produced shows took home the Best TV Comedy for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. This is a great example as to how video content is no longer only being produced at Hollywood. Independent film studios and distributors are now taking a piece of the pie too. In 2017 alone, Amazon spent a whopping $4.5 billion dollars in an effort to compete with the likes of Netflix.

In 2018, Netflix plans on spending upwards of $7 billion on original content, where as Apple has only set aside $1 billion. Keeping in mind that Netflix is only a content producer and aggregator, whereas Amazon is not known for their content as so much as their products. 2018 will be an interesting year in video, especially with Amazon’s Golden Globe win leading up to the Oscar’s, we will see what happens then. Amazon Studios won three Oscars in 2017. One was for “Manchester By the Sea,” – best original screenplay. Then Casey Affleck won best actor for the movie’s lead role. The third was for an Iranian drama called “The Salesman,” That took home the best foreign language film award.

It’s no secret that Hollywood is very difficult to break into. Independent filmmakers have been taking advantage of Amazon studios, Netflix, and other indie studios to release their low budget films. Since Amazon in particular is very open to scripts, TV shows, movies, and pilots, more and more filmmakers have been submitting their content for a chance to be seen by the world. With a modest purchase price for a script or pilot, and a public forum for the content to be analyzed and decided upon, more filmmakers are getting a chance to join Hollywood. This inclusive nature that Amazon provides, is opening up a whole new level of interaction between filmmakers and studio heads who are now looking into other options for screenplays. Websites such as The Blacklist and other screenplay submission sites have been succeeding at winning academy awards more often as the years have progressed.

Needless to say, 2018 will be a battle between Netflix and Amazon to continue to produce more original content, get more subscribers to pay a monthly fee, and to potentially win more awards. As Hollywood’s revenues are dwindling, and movie theaters are becoming dinosaurs, the real winners will be the independent studios who offer inclusiveness in an otherwise impossible to break industry. Who do you think will win the battle? Let us know in the comments section!