Are We Adults, or Not?

From Cal Newport, on the “digital wellness” movement:

I’m a grown man. If I’m checking my phone every 5 minutes, or playing video games instead of paying attention to my kids, I don’t need an animation of a dying tree to nudge me toward better habits, I need someone I respect to knock the stupid thing out of my hand and say “get your act together.”

Earlier in the post, he calls this whole movement “infantilizing,” and I have to say that I agree. Some things in our lives can’t be taken care of by sheer willpower — I recognize that addiction is a real problem for some people as it relates to sex and pornography, drugs, food, and gambling. But does all this focus on “digital wellness” that Apple and other companies are focusing on really fix the problem we’re talking about? Or does it just treat bad habits and laziness as a kind of addiction that needs to be solved by taking away our power to make decisions for ourselves?

I fear it may be the latter. If we are adults, and we know that our (digital) actions are not conducive to making good work and living good lives and cultivating good character, we ought to have the wherewithal — no, the conviction — to put away those childish things and pursue a better, fuller life.

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