A few years ago, I decided to try a new Mexican restaurant, we went to dinner on the riverfront. The waiter made us sit down and give us a strange paper-based man on which we had to put an "X" in correspondence with the chosen dish.
When the waiter came back to our table to take the orders he found us intent on checking e-mails, replying to messages, reading notifications. He had to say (and I am grateful) to say: "Instead of using the telephone, talk among yourselves". We obeyed immediately because we felt provoked! Since then the mobile phone remained, except for emergencies, well guarded, away from the eyes and from the hands, when we allow ourselves an evening out.
This anecdote, not even so much fun, serves as a starting point for reflection that smartphone addiction, otherwise known as addiction without substance, which a few years ago was perhaps only hinted at, is now rampant. Whether we admit it or not, the facts are clear: we take pictures or take selfies of everything we do, what we eat, constantly update the boards of the various social networks.
Photos, opinions, stories, videos of kittens or funny kids. Sometimes the purpose is also lacking and you automatically scroll through the Facebook news without even reading them or you put hearts on Instagram in photos that you just caught a glimpse of. As if the act of gaining access to the virtual world was an end in itself and often not even the interest of knowing or looking at something in particular. Or maybe it pays itself to see if it is approved by others the life, even private, sharing every side of the newspaper.
This manic use of smartphones and similar devices for functions can be unmasked by controlling the time we spend, more or less consciously, on the phone, using the various applications. Here, caught out, who knows how many of us will notice how many times it takes holding the phone.
At the Apple conference on June 4, in San Jose, this was one of the central themes: time management and defense against interruptions of daily activities that the smartphone threatens.iOS 12 will offer tools to obtain information about the use of various applications and websites, the number of notifications received, how often you pick up the device.
The tools in question include new features in Screen Time, such as App Limits is Activity Reports, and additional checks regarding the receipt of notifications and the miraculous Do not disturb.
The latter, in particular, is improved and optimized: in times and places specified by the user, through the Control Center, notifications will arrive and Do Not Disturb will deactivate, while remaining active in all other places and in the other time slots: for example at school, during lessons at the University, at work.
The Do not disturb when in bed seems providential in preventing the light beam triggered by the arrival of any notification during the night from waking us up and disturbing us: the brightness is then reduced and the notifications are obscured until, the next morning, we do not pick up the phone.
Among these, for me, the most captivating function, in my opinion, Screen Time which offers a report of the time of use of the different applications. In addition it allows you to select a daily time limit for the use of a specific app in iOS 12, which ticks backwards until exhaustion, promptly notified by a notification five minutes before. Once the time is up, the application can no longer be used until the end of the day.
Furthermore, restrictions can be set in the use of some Apps so that parents can directly remotely control the times and ways in which children use the devices, provided they are in the Family network.
In short, if self-control is difficult, iOS 12 meets us, offering us the possibility of improving the quality of our time and avoiding distractions during activities that would require more concentration. Or simply give us the "La" to pull the plug every so often and understand that you can survive even without checking every two minutes if there is a notification on Facebook.
With the new system macOS 10.14 Mojave, the apps are obliged to obtain consent to access the various functions of the device, from the camera to the microphone. In this article we talked about Apple's focus on privacy to protect users.