Saturday, June 21, 2008


Are you tempted by the $199 iPhones that are coming out soon? I'm tempted, but I also know that giving me 24-hour internet access is like giving an unlimited crack supply to a crackhead. Although it would improve my online presence, it just may ruin my in-person social life. I'm still debating whether it's worth it.

This article, about iPhones and porn, is interesting. At first, I thought the concern was similar to car DVD players -- that pornography viewed on iPhones in public might offend unwitting passersby. The article also talks about minors who have iPhones, and how the phones make it easier for minors to have access to inappropriate material. The new phones will have parental controls:

"Our iPhone 2.0 software will give customers the opportunity to turn on parental controls," says Apple spokeswoman Bowcock. Some parents may not be tech-savvy enough to figure that out, though, and some kids may be clever enough to find a work-around. "If a minor with one of these phones pokes around, he could easily access adult sites without his parents' knowledge," says Holden, who authored "Adult Content in the Palm of Your Hand," Juniper's latest research report."

Most kids already have access to the internet, and it they want to badly enough, they know how to look up porn. I'm not saying we shouldn't worry about it, but in the end it's up to parents to be proactive and safeguard their kids. It's also pretty paternalistic to be concerned with what adults (legally) do on the internet. Society will find a way to prevent objectionable use of the internet in public, just as we've found a way to surf the internet from a device that fits in a pocket.

My main concern is that I'll be distracted by the ability to check Gmail and Facebook wherever I am. If you have an iPhone: is it a distraction, or is it helpful?

ADDED: In the comments, Phaedrus says "Sharon, come on! Gmail and Facebook, really? Mobile Westlaw . . . imagine the possibilities." Ha!


Phaedrus said...

Sharon, come on! Gmail and facebook, really? Mobile Westlaw . . . imagine the possibilities.

Rob S. said...

I have an iPhone Sharon, and it is as sinful as you think (productivity wise, not for porn...)
Although, it has come in handy, and (I'm sad to admit) I have browsed Lexis once or twice from the safari browser. Anyway love reading your blog, tell Jeremy I say hey if you talk to him.

Anonymous said...

You get over the novelty quickly. It's good when you're feeling awkward at a party, waiting at the doctor's office, trying to navigate a big city, or need a quick peak at wikipedia to verify something you said that may or may not be bullshit.

I check my email fairly regularly, but it's not that much of a time killer. Also, facebook is a little awkward to navigate sometimes, so it's not worth it to be on all the time. Then again, I did just de-friend about 50 people. So, I have less people to stalk :)