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A group of students (age 16) at Hof Hasharon regional high school in Israel discussed the problem of “digital addiction”.
All students said they are “living in their smartphones” a lot of time every day, some of them many hours a day. Most of them would like to occupy themselves less with their screens. However, it was understood that it is not necessarily addiction in the clinical sense, but rather excessive preoccupation and difficulty in disconnecting. So the “addiction” actually refers to how the user copes when he or she needs to log out.
The crux of the problem is the difficulty of disconnecting, even though you know it would have been better to do something else. One student noted that his parents thought he was like a “clinical addict”. He was addicted to the Fortnite game, used to play for hours each day, and only after a severe pressure from his parents he now plays only on weekends. But most participants think that enforced restrictions and prohibitions are not effective. On the contrary, they achieve the opposite result, as young people will continue to do the prohibited things.
It was mentioned that parents often give a screen to children too early, when they are too young. The problem is not just health risk (to eyes, etc.). The problem is that we give up on social activity and that’s not good.
So how can young people cope with the problem? What can be done?
One student exclaimed “Revolution! Let’s start to boycott the phones! With time more people will join!” Another student expressed an opposite view: “I have no problem with such addiction. Being occupied with the screens is good for me. If wanted to stop, I would stop!”
Other participants favored the solution of “voluntary disengagement” based on applications that automatically warn the user and recommend stopping after a certain time” Perhaps not the best solution, but better than nothing. A number of participants blamed the irresistible technology: developers want to to arouse excitement. That’s the goal. The apps give us something we need, excitement. “Everything now is fast and accessible, all is excitement, you cannot prevent it, it’s part of the progress!”
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Patriarchal social structure based on male dominance causes some problems such as gender inequality in social life, subordinating or silencing women and objectifying them. In this project, it is aimed to examine the effects of patriarchal social structure’s on women’s social lives and to comport the social gender inequality with the elements of women’s lives by considering the effects of patriarchal social structure’s and conditions’ place and importance in societies. In other words, traditional values of patriarchal social structure is seem to be related with the double exploitation on women by considerately continuing it presence in modern social structure, either. In order to collect the data, we interviewed 20 volunteer people (10 of them were women) who are over 18 years old from Büyükçekmece samples. Results which were acquired were analyzed via using frequency analysis method. The result of the data showed that majority of the participants advocated gender equality and the ones who did not show such factors as gender and marital status as their reasons. In order to obtain more findings, researchers who want to carry out similar studies can use different data collection methods such as detailed interview and questionnaires.
Key Words: social gender, woman, patriarchy, gender inequality.
Taking advantage of the fact that this week, Friday 8 March, we celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to talk to you about what influence social networks have had on feminism and feminist movements.
When? in 1911. Where? in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York. How many people? 123 working women and 23 working men. What happened? they couldn’t leave the factory, they had been locked inside. They died in that fire. And that marked the before and the after.
Every March 8 we commemorate those women who tried to leave, and we commemorate the rights for and by EQUITY. So that each person, without distinction of gender (or other conditions) is undervalued or marginalized, by the mere fact of being of one gender or another.
In a social and historical moment where technological (r)evolution is so strong, and at the same time, the struggle for equality in rights is so overwhelming, necessary, and powerful… How do social networks influence feminist movements? How many social networks do you take into account, how many do you have installed in your mobile/tablets/computers? How many do you use every day, or every week? The influence these channels have on us and on social events is incredible.
Feminism no longer hides, it no longer fears. Feminism has already been uncovered, it has removed the layer of invisibility that it wore in case someone stigmatized or mythified it. Now she has a face, and a voice, and legs to walk, and a soul to fight. And her face, her voice, her soul and her legs are those of many people who fight every day.
Social networks have made visible what urgently needed to be visible. We have let sorority enter our likes and our trending topic column.
Social networks have opened the door to voices that were silent. And they have joined forces to reach our common goal, regardless of what language we speak, what country we are, what we do or what our experiences have been: equity in rights, wage equity, social equity. The struggle is that no person is afraid to be who she/he is.
Aprovechando que esta semana, el viernes 8 de marzo, celebramos el Día Internacional de la Mujer, quería hablaros de qué influencia han supuesto para el feminismo y los movimientos feministas las redes sociales.
¿Cuándo? en 1911. ¿Dónde? en la fábrica Triangle Shirtwaist de Nueva York. ¿Cuántas personas? 123 mujeres trabajadoras y 23 hombres trabajadores. ¿Qué pasó? no pudieron salir de la fábrica, les habían encerrado dentro. Murieron en aquel incendio. Y aquello marcó el antes y el después.
Cada 8 de marzo conmemoramos a aquellas mujeres que trataron de salir, y conmemoramos los derechos por y para LA EQUIDAD. Para que cada persona, sin distinción de género (u otras condiciones) sea infravalorado o marginado, por el mero hecho de ser de un género u otro.
En un momento social e histórico donde la (r)evolución tecnológica pisa tan fuerte, y al tiempo, la lucha por la equidad en derechos es tan abrumadora, necesaria, y potente…
¿Cómo influyen las redes sociales a los movimientos feministas? ¿En cuántas redes sociales tenéis cuenta, cuántas tenéis instaladas en vuestros móviles/tablets/ordenadores, cuántas utilizáis cada día, o cada semana? La influencia que estos canales tienen sobre nosotros y sobre los sucesos sociales es increíble.
El feminismo ya no se esconde, ya no se oculta, ya no tiene miedo. El feminismo ya se ha destapado, se ha quitado la capa de invisibilidad que llevaba puesta por si alguien le estigmatizaba o mitificaba. Ahora ya tiene cara, y voz, y piernas para andar, y alma para luchar. Y su cara, su voz, su alma y sus piernas son las de muchas personas que cada día hacen su lucha. Las redes sociales han permitido que se visibilice lo que urgentemente debía ser visible. Hemos dejado que la sororidad entre en nuestros likes y en nuestra columna de trending topic.
Las redes sociales han abierto la puerta a las voces que estaban calladas. Y han aunado fuerzas para llegar a nuestro objetivo común, de forma independiente de qué idioma hablemos, de qué país seamos, a qué nos dediquemos o cuáles hayan sido nuestras experiencias: la equidad en derechos, la equidad salarial, la equidad social. La lucha para que ninguna persona tenga miedo a ser quien es.
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Most participants seem to be concerned that various entities are monitoring their activity in cyberspace and are using private information about them without their consent.
Some participants even called it “espionage.” The concern was raised that smartphones “listen” to participants without their consent. They believe that the proof of their opinion is that they often see targeted advertisements that match what they said on the phone. To some of them this seems scary. On the other hand, some of the participants said they had no problem with it, because it directs them to products of their own interest and this “makes life interesting”.
There was a short discussion about possible solutions. Although some think that the solution is possibly technical-regulatory (it is possible to prohibit such “espionage” by law), some participants noted that the economic motive of commercial organizations is too strong, and this makes it very difficult to deal with the problem.
Some participants said they would prefer social networks without advertisements, but they are aware that today this would be very difficult to achieve because advertising is the economic basis for such networks.
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The issue is problematic due to the multiplicity of sources of information, especially in social networks. Some participants noted that in many cases the problem is not necessarily false information but information that is only partially true, or biased.
Some students think they have the ability to distinguish between true and false info, and some of them say they do not have such ability. Some participants said that they have the ability to distinguish between false and real information only in subjects known to them thanks to personal experience. One participant said that in his opinion, this is the only way to distinguish – even though not everyone can personally experience everything.
Therefore, another participant recommended that one should rely on the knowledge and personal experience of others.
Some participants said that the problem also exists in non-digital media (printed newspapers or television), and that it is not advisable to rely on journalists. They believe that most information in the media (any type of media) is either biased or only partially true.
With regard to the example of people avoiding vaccines due to the distribution of false information, one participant noted that there is also a positive aspect: this phenomenon may encourage the development of vaccines with fewer side effects.
Participants were asked to express their opinion on the expected situation in 10 years. To this end, three alternative scenarios were presented for the year 2029:
1. Fake news are dominant. The majority of news is distorted, you cannot trust any source on the net.
2. Reliability of information on the Internet is guaranteed by new technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence) and other means.
3. People who were born and matured with the Internet know very well how to distinguish between real and false information.
Most students think that Scenario 1 is too extreme. They think that in the future a lot of information will be false, but not all of it. The majority may be false, but it is more likely to be about half – half.
Some students believe that the situation will be quite similar to the present situation.
Some students tend to agree, in part, with Scenario 2. They think reliability will increase, but it is not certain that reliability will really be guaranteed. It is possible that for a significant part of the news, perhaps for most of them, reliability will be indeed guaranteed by new technologies.
One participant believed there will be more trust in information thanks to technology, but not only because of technologies. The change for the better will also happen because more and more people will want to be able to check and verify.
One participant mentioned Wikipedia as a possible model for improving reliability. On Wikipedia all false things are filtered and corrected within a short time. It is possible to develop a kind of correction mechanism for news items.
Some participants think it is more likely that in the future there will be a combination of Scenarios 2 and 3. That is, there will be many more experienced people who can distinguish between real and false information, and also the new technologies will help to increase reliability. Overall, the ability to distinguish real information from false information will improve, mainly through cumulative experience. But it will never reach 100%.
Regarding Scenario 3, one of the students commented (contrary to the views expressed in meetings with other groups) that actually adults today have more experience than young people and can better distinguish between false and real information.
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Most participants think that this is the most problematic issue related to online activities of young people.
Implications: damage to social relations (lack of personal contacts, face to face), physical damage (mention was made, for example, to damage to eyes and joints). Participants also mentioned the waste of time involved in the phenomenon, time that would have been better to invest in other activities.
One of the students said that he was addicted to the Fortnite game. He was used to play for hours each day, and now he plays only on weekends (due to parents’ ban…), while others noted that such imposed restrictions were not a good solution.
Some of the students said that enforced restrictions and prohibitions are not effective. On the contrary, they achieve the opposite result, as young people will continue to do the prohibited things. He noted the importance of developing awareness of the problem.
It was clarified that the intention was not necessarily addiction in the clinical sense, but rather excessive preoccupation and difficulty in disconnecting. (However, one student noted that his parents thought he was a “clinical addict”).
All students said they are “living in their smartphones” a lot of time every day. Most of them would like to occupy themselves less with their screens.
There was a discussion about “screen time”: there was a disagreement about the typical time devoted to screens, but most agree that it is hours per day. Some students are busy with their screens four hours a day, maybe even more.
One of the students noted that the criterion is not necessarily the time spent of “living in the screen”, but rather the manner in which “addiction” is expressed. This is how the user copes when he or she needs to log out. The crux of the problem is the difficulty of disconnecting, even though you know it would have been better to do something else. There are those who find it difficult to break away after 5 minutes, and there are those that have a difficulty to disconnect after an hour or more. The issue is how you cope with this. Is it easy or difficult for you to move to another activity?
Some of the participants noted that they are aware that their “screen time” is exaggerated and comes at the expense of something else they would like to do, but the problem is that it is very hard to disconnect. Students often cancel things in order to “be on screen” – for example, they sacrifice sleeping or watching TV.
One of the students said he saw youngsters in a restaurant with friends or family and instead of chatting they were stuck on the screen. He noted that he found it strange. As if the entertainment was being with a tablet and headphones. It seemed to him to be “over-addiction.” “With the iPad you have to be at home, not in a restaurant!”
It was mentioned that parents often give a screen to children too early, when they are too young. Several participants said that the problem is not just health risk (eyes, etc.). The problem is that we give up on social activity and that’s not good.
The question arises: How do you deal with the problem? What can be done?
Here are some comments made by the participants:
• Revolution! Decide with friends to boycott the phones, and so with time more people will join.
• You cannot make everyone boycott. You can ban half the people, maybe some of the time. Who will decide which people to boycott? I will!
• I have no problem with addiction.
• Being occupied with the screens is good for me. If wanted to stop I would stop.
• You have to turn off when entering social events or entertainment. For example, school trips should be without telephones.
• I know people who when they come to the restaurant leave the phones in a heap. Those who connect pay for everyone! But I am against this solution…
In response to the question, “do you accept that in certain circumstances it will be necessary to disconnect?” – Most of the participants oppose coercion. Here are some comments:
• It is not good to force. And it is not good to preach. It should be voluntary. If you took the phone from someone he would want it even more.
• Voluntary disengagement can be based, for example, on applications that automatically warn the user and recommend stopping after a certain time. You define a certain time limit and the mobile alerts. The proposer was asked: As for yourself, do you follow the alert and stop, or you give yourself an extension? Answer: Extension. Question: So what’s the use of such an application? Answer: “It’s better than nothing….”
The participants were asked whether there is a role for education to address the issue. Answers:
• Education at school? No Comment.
• The problem is not only of children, but adults that are also addicted! My mother keeps telling me to hang up, but she herself does not hang up. She claims that this is for work… On the other hand, when you see that adults have a problem with disconnecting, it actually raises your awareness of the problem.
A number of participants related to the development of appropriate applications/technologies:
• Anyone who develops applications actually intends to arouse excitement. That’s the goal. The apps give us something we need, excitement. As long as we do eliminate this, it will never change. It’s a problem of the present time. Everything is fast and accessible, all is excitement, you cannot prevent it, it’s part of the progress!
• In response to a question about why this is different from quitting smoking cigarettes: it is impossible to compare. Cigarette is a product, connectivity is a general phenomenon. If everything becomes linked, it is impossible to prevent it. You can restrict certain things (like games), but not using a smartphone or the Internet in general.
• You need to focus on what you need and can limit, such as excessive gaming hours of small children, who can be harmed by this.
Possible addiction scenarios:
Participants were asked to express their opinion on the likely situation in 10 years from now. To this end, the following alternative scenarios were proposed (by the facilitator) for the year 2029:
1. The situation is grave. Most people are digitally-addicted. Many are hospitalized or suffer greatly because there is no proper treatment.
2. The problem has disappeared. Thanks to education and public campaigns, people have learned to find the right balance in their digital activity.
3. There is no problem at all, because the digital activity is perceive as the new normal, a “natural” condition, and is no longer considered an addiction.
Some students think the situation will get worse. Maybe not everyone will be addicted, but much more than today.
Maybe technology will solve the problem of physical damage, such as eye damage.
It may be that in the future people will decide that this is not a problem. The children who do not see this as a problem will get older and will not treat it as a problem. More technology, more tampering with gadgets – would be considered normal.
Only one or two of the participants expect scenario 1 to be realized. It seemed too extreme to them. Some think there will be more “addicts”, but not the majority and it will not be that serious.
Most did not agree with Scenario 2. Most students tend to agree more with scenario 3. When asked whether other scenarios could materialize, there were no ideas.
We went back to discussing possible solutions.
• One of the students recommended automatic locking of some specific “addicting” applications, but not of tools such as Whatsapp used for communication. Again, this should be done willingly: “Compel voluntarily!”
• Technology should interact with people to improve social communication. It was mentioned that Facebook was originally meant for this, but it turned out that it actually increases loneliness. Facebook is not really human connection. One needs a technology that takes into account human needs, emotional needs. This should embedded in the technology itself.
• How can this be achieved? Any examples? Perhaps by using Virtual/Augmented Reality. This technology may enable more personal communication. Maybe using a hologram that feels like a real conversation. With the ability to meet together in a group. This seems like a difficult challenge for developers, not simple!
Several participants expressed the opinion that so far technology developers had missed this, and failed to cope with this challenge. Ostensibly, the existing technologies enable us to connect and play, but they do not meet a real human need. You can communicate with someone who is tens of kilometers away, but you end up being alone. Maybe developers think they know better what users want, but that is not necessarily true.
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