Too much screen time, or too many screens?

New research has been published on how teenagers and parents feel about the amount of time they’re on their devices. How teens and parents navigate screen time and device distractions Amid roiling debates about the impact of screen time on teenagers, roughly half of those ages 13 to 17 are themselves worried they spend too … Continue reading “Too much screen time, or too many screens?”

Screen time questions

It’s long been understood that all these screens are changing how we’re interacting with each other. But are parents over-reacting a little? The touch-screen generation By their pinched reactions, these parents illuminated for me the neurosis of our age: as technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives, American parents are becoming more, not less, wary of what … Continue reading “Screen time questions”

Kids and screens

There’s a lot of talk about today’s children oversharing on social media. But what kind of example are the parents setting? When kids realize their whole life is already online While many kids may not yet have accounts themselves, their parents, schools, sports teams, and organizations have been curating an online presence for them since … Continue reading “Kids and screens”

Watching the time go by, together

I’m embarrassed to admit this is the first I’ve heard of this remarkable piece of video art. Christian Marclay’s The Clock, from 2010, is at Tate Modern till January. The Clock review – ‘The longer you watch it, the more addictive it becomes’ When the screen says 8.23, I check my phone and find it’s … Continue reading “Watching the time go by, together”

One space or two? One! Every time!

This has been a bone of contention between me and my better half for a while now. She was trained as a touch-typist back in the Twentieth century. I wasn’t. One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. The rules of spacing have been wildly inconsistent going back to the invention of … Continue reading “One space or two? One! Every time!”

The TV times are a-changing

A potentially depressing look at the impact that new television technologies are having on family life. The end of watching TV as a family For the first time, children aged five to 16 are more likely to watch programmes and videos on devices such as laptops and mobile phones, rather than on television screens. It … Continue reading “The TV times are a-changing”

From scroll to screen

The Mechanic Muse — From Scroll to Screen The codex also came with a fringe benefit: It created a very different reading experience. With a codex, for the first time, you could jump to any point in a text instantly, nonlinearly. You could flip back and forth between two pages and even study them both … Continue reading “From scroll to screen”

School’s out, for summer?

So yesterday, two weeks before the scheduled end of the term, kids across the country had their last school day. An early end to the term. An end to the school year? Coronavirus: how to help children through isolation and lockdown – The Conversation The UK has become the latest country to close schools in … Continue reading “School’s out, for summer?”

How much is too much?

Screentime, I mean. I know I’ve asked this more than once or twice before, but the answer still seems to be ‘it depends’. Take this article, for example, on the trend for music concerts to impose a no phones rule. It sounds eminently sensible. The simple joy of “No Phones Allowed” The no-phones policy illuminated something … Continue reading “How much is too much?”

Are we doing the right thing?

As a parent of teenagers, I worry about this topic a lot. What do we actually know about the risks of screen time and digital media? The lumping of everything digital into a monolith is a framing that makes Oxford Internet Institute psychologist Andrew Przybylski groan. “We don’t talk about food time,” he points out. … Continue reading “Are we doing the right thing?”

How is WFH working out for you?

The future has always been uncertain, in an abstract you-never-know-what’s-round-the-corner kind of way. But these days, goodness me — the very near future has never been so completely uncertain, unknown, and unsettled. For instance, what will our workplaces be like, after all this? The office is dead – Marker “It’s not something I was even … Continue reading “How is WFH working out for you?”

Missing music

Like no doubt many other homes up and down the land, music is always playing here, somewhere—the kitchen radio, the kids’ laptops or Alexas, the piano and tuba even (that damned thing is so loud). But it’s been a long time since we went out to hear live music. For music fans like Rob Sheffield, … Continue reading “Missing music”

Virtual promenades

What would Mussorgsky have made of these virtual promenades around pictures at exhibitions, I wonder. Google virtual tour – The National Gallery In 2016, Google created this 360° tour of Rooms 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15 and Central Hall. Immerse yourself in Renaissance masterpieces from Northern Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, including works … Continue reading “Virtual promenades”

And then what?

So here in the UK we’re to have another three weeks of lockdown. I’m not sure what state I’ll be in after that, I’m already starting to fray at the edges. What’s keeping me up all night isn’t so much how we’ll get through these next few weeks, but what comes after? Our pandemic summer … Continue reading “And then what?”

Cooking through adversity

Amid the news of Italy’s massive quarantine, here’s comicbook artist Krish Raghav’s poignant look at an aspect of China’s. Quarantine Cooking: Finding Relief from Coronavirus Anxiety in the Kitchen – The New Yorker The question “What and how do you cook under quarantine” is being answered from millions of isolated dorm rooms, apartments, and houses … Continue reading “Cooking through adversity”

A purposefully not smart phone

Phones. It’s a love/hate relationship for sure. Technology companies have long since realised how bored we get with what we have, and are forever designing “better” versions of the same thing for us to buy next—shinier, bendier, or just plain bigger. This is not without problems. Z Flip and Razr: Folding screens bubble and scratch, … Continue reading “A purposefully not smart phone”

Moving away from paper monitors

Thinking about the old web again, and how different web pages looked back then, compared to now. In a word, tiny. A short history of body copy sizes on the Web – Florens Verschelde Ten and 11 pixels may seem puny today, but in the early 2000s that was deemed readable for two reasons: the … Continue reading “Moving away from paper monitors”

Don’t keep it to yourself

I read quite a lot, as most of us do—from books and newspapers, screens and  phones. But when was the last time you read aloud? Or had something read aloud to you? As Meghan Cox Gurdon explains, in this extract from her book The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud In the Age … Continue reading “Don’t keep it to yourself”

Searching for a search engine

Here’s an odd story from The Verge about Google and user choice—or the lack of it. Bing loses out to DuckDuckGo in Google’s new Android search engine ballot – The Verge EU citizens setting up Android devices from March 1 will be given a choice of four search engines to use as their default, including … Continue reading “Searching for a search engine”