The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected

(The New York Times)

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The parents in Overland Park, Kan., were fed up. They wanted their children off screens, but they needed strength in numbers. First, because no one wants their kid to be the lone weird one without a phone. And second, because taking the phone away from a middle schooler is actually very, very tough.

“We start the meetings by saying, ‘This is hard, we’re in a new frontier, but who is going to help us?’” said Krista Boan, who is leading a Kansas City-based program called START, which stands for Stand Together And Rethink Technology. “We can’t call our moms about this one.”

I first noticed this gap almost a decade ago visiting college campuses. When I would sit in on classes​ at small private colleges​s students with ​laptops were a rare sight. At community colleges,​ they were slightly​ more common. At state universities, with amphitheater​ sized classrooms,​ they were all too common. Equally all too common was how many were all tuned to social media.​

Millions of Californians’ jobs could be affected by automation

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(LA Times)

We’re facing a major challenge,” Moenius said. “If we don’t do anything, then it will turn into an apocalypse.”

Whether confronting an increasingly automated labor market or grappling with how the gig economy is reshaping the relationship between companies and their workers, California’s next governor will have to address the changing nature of work.

That could mean rethinking how to educate Californians, remaking labor laws or considering major social safety net proposals such as a universal basic income. State government might not be able to control change sweeping the workplace, but it will have to deal with the fallout.

What starts in Cali . . .

More people are taking Facebook breaks and deleting the app from their phones

(The Verge)

According to new data from Pew Research Center that sampled US Facebook users aged 18 and up, 4 in 10 (42 percent) of those surveyed have taken a break from the social network for “several weeks or more” in the last year; a quarter of respondents said they’ve deleted the mobile app entirely from their smartphones.

I was always stunned​ adults put that app on their phone. I have serious regrets about ever advocating​ the use of Facebook.

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Finding silence online is difficult, but the pursuit is worthwhile

(The Verge)

What silence looks like online is hard to describe, because it’s necessarily individual: I have a different threshold than you, for example, for dealing with Twitter trolls or rogue Instagram commenters. But I do think there are a few rules. First, quiet is found in considered spaces — think @everycolorbot or #cloudtwitter. Second, if silence is found through listening, then peaceful places online are more generative (like Glitch or Codecademy, or one of my favorites, Twine) and, generally, focused on maintaining small, healthy communities (like Metafilter). Silence pools like the tides. It’s hard to find at high tide, and immediately obvious where the pools are when the tide are out.

True silence​ online​ can only be found at Zombocom