Kia ora friends
Here we go, 2024.
So I’ve employed my dad’s excellent life advice to wait till you’ve had two sleeps after a difficult situation, in order to decide whether to succumb to despair, or not.
Two days ago I attended a fraught public meeting in my community, surrounded by neighbours and facing off against a villainous bunch of corporate bad guys. I was reminded of Mr Burns from the Simpsons (in vibe, not in looks). I feel like I am living inside a Disney movie. The health of our river is under threat, and I cannot be dispassionate about it.
So yeah, I got a little sassy at the meeting. My best, highest self found it difficult to engage, and with the hindsight of two sleeps and my knowledge of neurobiology and homeostasis, I say “no wonder” – it was really hot in the sun without shade, it was rolling on to dinner time and my blood sugar was dangerously low, and the neurosequential model will remind you that the effective functioning of our prefrontal cortex is at risk when our limbic systems are raging. Which they’ll do when our homes and happiness are under threat!
All this to say, I have forgiven myself for my public display of imperfection and I acknowledge that I would not be the person I am if I was unwilling to call out nonsense when I see it and hear it. It’s one of my best qualities, I think, so I stand by it. In fact, I call on that trait right now as I share links with y’all
First up, here is a link to a write up about a great piece of qualitative research out of Auckland, it is based on interviews with parents of adolescents and YUP it’s about phone use. I emailed the lead author and congratulated her, told her I’d be quoting the following passage in my thesis:
“The narrative in the media now is tending to be all about how tech can be good and bad, implying a balance. However, the evidence—whether from our study or the US Surgeon General’s review —increasingly supports the idea that the harms seem to outweigh the positives.”
Yup. Consider the Ledger of Harms from our friends at the Center for Humane Tech, consider the untrustworthiness of social media platforms, consider how liberating it is for our young people to be free from phones at school, and then read this updated version of the excellent “Disrupted Childhood” report from 5rights in the UK.