Apple should do more to combat smartphone addiction, insists iPod-Father Tony Fadell

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 54
    A nanny-state monitor nagging me about how long I've been using my phone would be the first thing I'd disable.
    tallest skilwatto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 54
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 729member
    Apple should also do our grocery shopping for us, have Genius Bar professionals come to our home, offer food delivery if clients have to wait to long for a Genius Bar appointment, and most of all, Apple should have a built-in timer in each iPhone that restricts the number of hours we can use it each day. Taking responsibility for one's actions is so outdated. ;) 

    edited April 16 watto_cobra
  • Reply 43 of 54
    leighrleighr Posts: 161member
    By the same token...

    McDonalds should weigh customers as they enter and exit, and announce their weight gain each visit,
    Netflix should automatically update your doctor of your Square Eyes data,
    And Couches should detect and display your Potato time when you sit on them.

    Or maybe we could just be responsible for our own actions.
    tallest skilwatto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 54
    irelandireland Posts: 17,020member
    leighr said:
    By the same token...

    McDonalds should weigh customers as they enter and exit, and announce their weight gain each visit
    We know McDee’s doesn’t care about their customers. We hold Apple to a higher standard. Leave the world better.
    muthuk_vanalingamSpamSandwich
  • Reply 45 of 54
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,091member
    Also...I'm so sick and tired of always hearing "iPod Father" associated with Tony Fadell. The iPod is basically a dead product for the most part. It had its day and it was great when it was in its day, but stop calling one god damn person the father of the friggin thing! There was more than just him that created iPod. No one person at Apple creates an entire product. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 54
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,091member
    macxpress said:
    Who really cares what this guy thinks? He created something nice at Apple with iPod, left to create a crappy thermostat and sold it to Google and it went to further crap from there and then got ousted from his own company. Again, why does his opinion even matter? 
    He didn’t even create the iPod. Jon Rubinstein did.
    True...no one person created iPod. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 54
    ireland said:
    If we live in a world where everyone is staring at their phone the whole time while others around them stare at theirs, we certainly lose a vital part of what it means to be human. Human touch, genuine human connection, cannot be had through the internet in a way you get from another person in the flesh.
    In before someone posts that retarded black and white picture of everyone on a subway reading the newspaper.
    Another thing I've seen a lot is teenagers needing to pull out their phones because they cannot stand being uncomfortable. It does make one wonder where this goes taken to the extreme.
    The release of dopamine in the brain is tied to a reward system that gives incentive to instinctual elements of the body to chase something. Example: orgasm makes you feel good, therefore you make the effort to seek it through reproduction. Otherwise, we’d end up like pandas. Eating feels good, so you seek food for now and later. Happiness feels good, so you seek things that generate it. In the environment where man was adapted to live before fire was even mastered, this meant that to get that reward you had to apply the effort needed for it. For reaching orgasm, you would need to reproduce and secure offspring. For food, go hunting or create some system like agriculture. In essence, this reward system is just that, reward–or incentive–to accomplish that which would benefit you through other means. Hedonism in itself is maximizing dopamine rush while minimizing effort or sacrifice. It’s no secret that people can gain a tolerance to a dopamine rush after a while. With current technology and social structures that reduce effort to near nonexistent levels compared to “pre”-historic times, people will start chasing it ever harder while the barrier of effort that would make you stop chasing it remains irrelevant. The closest thing in concept is heroin addiction. Therefore, hedonism in this current age is not natural. Hedonism at all is unnatural, as the reward system’s purpose was giving incentive for you to go through the effort required, not skipping it altogether.

    Let’s look at another example. For porn, now the brain thinks you’re an absolute madman, skilled so much that you can have any woman seconds after getting the desire, even though that’s not the case. Sex work is basically a venue for this reward system to be skipped entirely. Just save up a few bucks and you already have the dopamine rush without effort whatsoever. You’ll find that most degenerate societies have a massive amount of sex-related work, most iconic being the Weimar Republic–though this is also affected by a desperate shortage of work and food that makes people sell their bodies, so the issue is even worse because you have people willingly skipping the reward system and others reduced to prostitution due to having no work. Does this mean everyone is innocent? No, some people have no self-control and discipline whatsoever even if they are aware of the situation.

    Hedonism is half-unawareness and half-lack of self control and discipline, because at its core is the unwillingness to face the bad things life throws at you or trying to overcompensate with dopamine rushes. No matter the type of hedonism, you’ll find that a person has gained nothing since step 1 since all he seeks is that temporary rush of happiness. That is, unless the reward system kicks in full force and forces him to become successful to support his hedonism. Bottom line, hedonism has a great amount of arguments against it, and the only argument in favor is just wanting to feel good. You’ll notice how any person in favor of hedonism will take any argument against it as a personal attack subconsciously. That’s because hedonism is an inherently individualistic idea. He doesn’t care about anything but his own happiness and you have become an obstacle to that. By defending others, he is primarily defending himself. If he wasn’t a hedonist, he wouldn’t be defending the others.

    What does hedonism have to do with being raised on a worldview of narcissistic subjectivist individualism within the artificially-created autonomous “culture” propped up solely by brainwashing and debt slavery which causes people to be so psychologically fragile that their daily lives are structured around the primal fear of never feeling any negative emotions whatsoever, no matter how healthy and relevant they are? Oh, and what does it have to do with the endemic use of cell phones? Oh, absolutely nothing. I’m just making it all up. Ignore that almost 30% of survey respondents say they’d rather give up sex than their phone. Don’t mind me, evil old traditionalist Tallest Skil with his “outmoded” ways… I must feel good. I must feel good. I must feel good. No bad thoughts, no bad feelings, no bad words. Colorful candies and cartoons. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Merely thinking about “evil” makes you “host” to that evil, after all; can’t think wrong thoughts…

    Good on you for bringing this up, Ireland. There’re plenty of teetering epidemics like this in society about which people refuse to talk… because they can’t stand to feel uncomfortable, even for a moment.
    Forgive if I get this all wrong, as what i know about human psychology and physiology wouldn't fill a Post-It note, but isn't there an area of the brain responsible for impulse control that is less active in some people? Wouldn't that result in those people seeking outcomes that feel good even in the absence of any kind of survival imperative, or when their actions may have negative consequences for themselves or others? Could what we perceive as hedonism actually be the natural state of a chemically imbalanced brain, in at least some cases?

    I'm not excusing impulsive or self-indulgent behaviour, but suggesting that it may not always be just a personality flaw, and may be more difficult to overcome for those whose brains are wired differently.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 54
    leighr said:
    By the same token...

    McDonalds should weigh customers as they enter and exit, and announce their weight gain each visit,
    Netflix should automatically update your doctor of your Square Eyes data,
    And Couches should detect and display your Potato time when you sit on them.

    Or maybe we could just be responsible for our own actions.
    McDonald's does have their nutritional data available for customers to be able to make better decisions on what they eat (or don't) from them. On some packaging, the data is also printed on the outside.  None of this absolves the person of their ultimate decision, but it does empower them to make more informed decisions. 

    Information does not have to be intrusive to be useful. But to reach a substantial audience, it should be conveniently accessible. Apple can surely make something like this work without breaking the user experience. 

    It's likely that bringing this information into the limelight will help spur constructive conversation and research into the addictive qualities of smartphone useage that could benefit millions around the word. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 54
    In January, a pair of major Apple shareholders issued an open letter to Apple asking for a study into the impacts of heavy smartphone usage by children and teachers, citing a "growing body of evidence" that intensive phone use "may be having unintentional negative consequences."
    So, there's a growing body of evidence? What might be the source of this evidence? One might assume studies. If such studies are already being done, what's to be gained by Apple doing another one? If such studies are not already being conducted, what is the source of this supposed "evidence?" Gut feeling? Tea leaves? Women's intuition? Visions of the prophet?

    Even if we set aside the obvious credibility challenge a study done by Apple would face (since Apple has a deep vested interest in the result), I'm not sure an equipment manufacturer is well equipped for conducting the kind of research the shareholders in question seem to want. Wouldn't a university or other scientific, arm's-length third party be both a better source of information and more credible?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 54
    anomeanome Posts: 931member

    I wrote a long, well-considered post about this yesterday, and my work computer ate it.

    Smartphone addiction isn't a thing. Or at least it's not a new thing. It's several old things that now have smartphones added to them.

    People spend hours or days lost in books, magazines, TV shows, music, etc. At various times, some of these have been described as an addiction, particularly TV shows and the trashier magazines - I doubt anyone was criticised for reading The Smithsonian or National Geographic every month. Similarly, people wandered around, not paying attention to where they were going, or the other people around them before there were handheld devices fascinating enough for people to stare at constantly.

    The problem isn't the phones. Arguably, the problem isn't an actual problem, it's just the way some people interact with the world. Some of the people staring at their phones are interacting more with the world than they would be without them.

    Essentially, as I see it, calling for something to be done about "Screen Addiction" is based in the same kind of fear of the new as the complaints about television, the movies, comic books, computer games, role playing games, rock music, punk, hip hop, jazz, blues, and any other new thing that caused the older generations to clutch their pearls.

    Do some people spend more time on their phones than others? Yes. Is it an addiction? Not really. Is it Apple's (or Samsung's or Huawei's or Google's) fault? No.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 54
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,851member
    ...isn't there an area of the brain responsible for impulse control that is less active in some people? Wouldn't that result in those people seeking outcomes that feel good even in the absence of any kind of survival imperative, or when their actions may have negative consequences for themselves or others?
    I forget the exact study, and I’m not even sure anymore if it was a real thing, but supposedly we hooked up some mice to an electrode that would zap their pleasure centers and gave them two switches. One gave them food and one gave them pleasure. They all chose to starve to death. Or so the story goes.

    In short (and only tangentially related to what I even said there), yes. Impulse control is less active in large swaths of the population. Some people have more impulse control (you could probably throw me in there, as advertising has never worked on me and I’ve never impulse bought anything; the concept is baffling to me), and some have less. Of course, the second you say such a thing might be genetic you lose all your funding.
    Could what we perceive as hedonism actually be the natural state of a chemically imbalanced brain, in at least some cases?
    You’re absolutely right. And in the absence of studies and treatment for any biological component to this, the aspect of it with which I’m most concerned is the forced, purposeful social changes to conflagrate this problem in everyone. If we can’t get those people the medical help they need for their impulse control, at least we can rebuild society around environmental support that promotes self-responsibility. And to discuss it further would get into politics, because I would have to talk about how “capitalism” and “consumerism” aren’t the same thing, how “capitalism” barely has a proper definition, and how “consumerism” needs government restrictions in order to maintain order and productivity in society. So that’s that.

    AND WHY DOES APPLE’S BUILT-IN DICTIONARY NOT KNOW COMMON ENGLISH WORDS?! I don’t get it. Ostracization. Conflagrate. I’ll… post more of them when I’m back on a Mac and I can get to my book to remember them. I can accept that it doesn’t know technical words like hexafluorosilicic (though since it’s not a physical book and is only a few megabytes, shouldn’t it?), but I’m being gaslighted all the time by thinking I’m “inventing” words and spelling things wrong when I’m not. It wears on a person.  :p
  • Reply 52 of 54
    anome said:
    [...] Essentially, as I see it, calling for something to be done about "Screen Addiction" is based in the same kind of fear of the new as the complaints about television, the movies, comic books, computer games, role playing games, rock music, punk, hip hop, jazz, blues, and any other new thing that caused the older generations to clutch their pearls.
    I mostly agree with you. My opinion differs in that I don't perceive the issue of excessive blue face to be socially benign. There are a few reasons for pearl clutching, and I'd feel better if people addressed the ways their behaviour is anti-social.

    Examples of ways excessive phone use can be socially destructive are all around us and obvious, but most people manage them well enough to stay employed and maintain their relationships. Unfortunately, some people don't. Those people are a problem we ALL have to deal with. Clearly the phone isn't the problem, irresponsible use of it is, but it doesn't change the fact that because of pocket computers we have a new set of social challenges to overcome.
  • Reply 53 of 54
    My questions are:
    If one eliminates Facebook addiction -- and other social networks to a much lesser degree -- how big's the problem? For that matter, how big the problem compared to, say, opioid addiction, alcoholism, etc.? Exactly what's the basis for the claim that there's even an actual problem? I mean, in a documented way, bases, not just claims?
    And why Apple? It's not like Apple owns the smartphone market. This whole thing is like demanding Mercedes does something about some problem while everyone's driving Hondas and Toyotas and Chevys. If there's a problem, maybe it's on the company that made Faddell really wealthy -- Google -- to fix.
  • Reply 54 of 54
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,851member
    Oh hey. More new data on this problem.
    Researchers behind the study, conducted at San Francisco State University, liken smartphone addiction to opioid dependency, arguing that overuse of a mobile device is no different from substance abuse. “The behavioral addiction of smartphone use begins forming neurological connections in the brain in ways similar to how opioid addiction is experienced by people taking Oxycontin for pain relief — gradually,” explains Erik Peper, co-lead author of the study and professor of health education at the school, in a news release. The ubiquity of smartphones today betrays their usefulness, but app developers and tech companies are highly incentivized to create features that draw your eyes, and your attention, as much as possible. “More eyeballs, more clicks, more money,” comments Peper. Peper and co-author Richard Harvey surveyed 135 students at the university about their smartphone usage and general digital habits. The researchers found that the students that used their phones the most reported feeling more lonely and isolated than peers less dependent on their devices. The most frequent users also reported higher levels of depression and anxiety.

    Apps are using the same neural pathways that humans have to warn them of danger. “But now we are hijacked by those same mechanisms that once protected us and allowed us to survive — for the most trivial pieces of information,” says Peper.
    I can say a ton more about this, but it’s all political.
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