Few would have predicted the explosion in the use of the mobile phone which has made people like the late Steve Jobs billionaires. Although in fairness his premature death is an appropriate metaphor for the life span of his company’s batteries and rumours that his coffin had a crack across the lid remain unfounded. Jon Hyatt’s documentary, ‘ Screened Out ’ looks at what is now an addiction in terms of our use of the mobile phone and there are some incredible stats. 70% of us are on our phones for between 3-5 hours a day. Kids aged between 0-8 are on mobile devices for an average of 3hrs a day, for teens it’s a massive 6-9 hours a day and overall our attention span is less than a goldfish…….or something like that, I wasn’t paying attention.
Hyatt’s sets out that this usage of mobile phones is nothing less than an addiction but he digs deeper into the research with a number of highly respected academics and its made clear that the big tech firms apps are insidious and that it is ‘rewards ‘ that we’re addicted to rather than the tech itself. And its alarming that even a chief exec from Facebook admits that every ‘follow’, ‘like’or ‘message’ we receive is a hook that manipulates us into keeping logged into their product subconsciously acting as a social validation. His assertion is that it’s ripping apart the social fabric of society leaving hundreds of thousands of people increasingly less capable of communicating face to face and when the inventor of the ‘LIKE’ button admits to a sense of self loathing for having come up with the idea then Hyatt might just be right.
Although a little overlong Screening Out validates much of its research, and in fairness you only have to look around to see that it’s right, and it even goes back all the way to the Blackberry device which became so addictive to its owners that it was rightly named the, ‘crack-berry’. The documentary gives an alarming insight into the evolution of the phone where ultimately every facet of our existence is tracked by the state. It all sounds a bit far fetched…… unfortunately that dystopian nightmare is already here as it exists in China and though its proved useful for that country’s dealing with the covid-19 pandemic it is also something that’s never going to disappear. The fact that Steve Jobs allegedly never gave his children ipads says it all.
Both frightening and insightful Screened Out is well worth a look………and you can find out more about the film by subscribing to our You Tube channel, following us on twitter and instagram as well as on facebook!
Here’s the Screened Out trailer……..
SCREENED OUT IS AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD ON 1ST JUNE 2020