“What Ryan knew of relationships, and of women, he had mostly learned from his daily immersion in adult videos, picked from a menu to suit all conceivable tastes, none of which any longer held much curiosity for him. He acknowledged a sadness in himself about all this, but he was addicted all the same; it appeared abnormal not to want to watch. When Kidron followed Ryan back out on to the street, and on to the tube, he appeared to carry everything he had seen with him. “I’ve ruined the sense of love,” he tells Kidron at one point. He approaches potential girlfriends in the same manner he surfs his favourite websites, always restless, always looking for the excitement of the perfect transaction, always vaguely disappointed.”

“Clay described with horror the way [smartphones are] sent to you with every possible interruption and alert already built into it and set to intrude on your life in any way it can,” she recalls. “Eighty per cent of people never change those factory settings. It owns you from the start. It comes to you rather than you going to it.”

“The ubiquity of porn has led to the ‘pornification’ of society as a whole. The fact that what used to be called soft porn is now called advertising is very problematic for young women.”

A fascinating article on the effects of the internet, smartphones, social media, etc. on our society, specifically our teenagers. The article centers around Beeban Kidron and what she learned while creating the film InRealLife, which is now available on iTunes in the US. She talks about the language we use to trivialize something that has such a big influence on our lives (“twitter,” “like,” “friend,” “the cloud”), in a way so that none of us have to consider that our obsessions might be hurting us – both individually and as a broader society.  She discusses the lack of transparency when it comes to Google, Facebook, CAPTCHA, etc.; we can’t see them, but they see everything we are…and then sells that information to others.  The world we see on our computers is designed to trap you – YOU – specifically, tailored with all of the things you like or need or want to see to keep you attached to your screens. And she begs the question, what can we or should we do about any of it?

Read the article, even if you can’t watch the film. It’s got my mind spinning in an awesome way; I thought I would just be upset with the facts (‘society is falling apart’) but instead I see ideas about shifting our cultural focus in a way that just might benefit us all.

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