CSCD03 tell me to study, study, study…”. This

CSCD03 – Assignment 1

 

Part 1: Addicted to the Internet?

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1)    a) Yes, I partially agree with the director
when he says the root cause of the boys’ problem is loneliness. There are lots
of experiments that support the loneliness claim; for example, the Journal of
Pediatrics did a study which revealed the following. “Heavy gamers, who played
an average of 31 hours a week, compared with 19 hours a week for other
students, were more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and social
phobias.” (Rabin R., 2011)

 

Loneliness
is a huge factor but social pressure to succeed in school is also another
factor to consider when looking at video game addicts. I believe teenagers use
video games as an escape mechanism from the stressful school environment; especially
in China due to its high population. Kids in high populated areas are
constantly pressured to study from parents, peers, schools etc. In the video
one of the teenager’s mentions that “my parents always tell me to study, study,
study…”. This constant pressure to succeed get so overwhelming that teenagers
escape to the virtual life of video games. Just like as Jeffrey Davis states in
his article “For many people, the world of video games is a perfect break from
a reality filled with deadlines, stress, and responsibilities. People play them
because they are fun, interesting and a way to relax.” As soon as they start to
realize how stimulating video games are, these kids start replacing their
friends with friends with similar mindsets; other video game addicts online. This
is when loneliness starts to become a real problem.

 

I
personally don’t think the director has the best treatment method for curing
the teenager’s addiction. The director should instead help these teenagers find
different ways of coping with this pressure such as involving them in different
extracurricular activities. Helping them cope with this pressure will prevent
the kids from having withdrawal as soon as they leave the center. Personally, I
don’t think putting them through boot camp will help, it might actually make
them more rebellious.

 

b)    A lot of people believe video games is a
male dominant industry, so I can understand why the video had mostly shots of
males playing video games, but things have changed in the past couple of years.

In Kim Gittleson’s BBC article she states, “the dynamics of who is gaming has
steadily changed in the last five years, as women increasingly flock to video
games, with the latest industry figures in the US showing that 48% of gamers
are female.”

 

Also, when
you think of video games, you think of Xbox games, Play Station games, League
of Legends etc. but people rarely associate cell phone games with video games,
and that is why that stat above needs to be explained further. Yes, the number
of female video gamers has increased but this is because even though males are
predominantly playing console games, females are participating far more in cell
phone games. For example, Kim Gittleson also mentions in her article that “60%
of popular smartphone game Temple Run’s players are female”. In this day and
age where everyone has smartphones, these games also need to be categorized as
video games because they can also become a form of addiction.

 

This belief
that smartphones are not categorized as video games is why I believe this video
mainly shows males at the addiction center.

 

 

2)    As a kid born in the 90’s I got to
experience the rise of technology from the Nokia brick phones to flagship phones
such as iPhone X. So much has changed over the years and I feel kids born in
the 2000s are more prone to be addicted to the internet than me. In 2017, kids
in grade 5 or 6 have the latest smartphones, while I got my first piece of tech
(ie. iPod) when I was in grade 10. When I was in elementary school I spent a
majority of my time playing outside; even when winter came around me and my
friends would play football outside, or have a good old-fashioned snowball
fight. When I look back at my childhood a lot of it was spent socializing
versus staying home and playing video games or surfing the internet. As I got
older and transitioned into high school, there was more importance on using
technology and integrating everything with the internet. Socializing got
transformed to messengers, playing outside got transformed to stay inside
playing video games etc.

 

Since I
have seen the best of both worlds, I am able to ground myself and still keep my
“internet addiction” in check, while kids born in the 2000s don’t have anything
else to compare to. I’m not saying that I haven’t spent large portions of the
day on the internet but I’m able to control when I need to focus and I guess my
past life experiences have helped me in preventing this addiction from taking
over my life; like the kids in China.

 

 

 

Part 2: Is metadata “more revealing than
content”?

 

3)    The main issue with collecting any sort of
data is an individual’s privacy, how much of it is revealed and how much is
kept private. Intelligence agencies started to collected metadata because they
believed tapping into people’s phone calls would be violating their privacy. Metadata
is data about the data. For example, telephone metadata is data about where you
made the phone call? who did you talk to? how long did you talk for? etc.

Personally, I believe this data is way more revealing than simply recording
phone calls, and a lot of other professionals have the same belief. Mr. Felton
from American Civil Liberties Union mentioned in one of his legal cases.

“Calling patterns can reveal when we are awake and asleep; our religion, if a
person regularly makes no calls on the Sabbath or makes a large number of calls
on Christmas Day; our work habits and our social aptitude; the number of
friends we have, and even our civil and political affiliations” (Kelley M.,
2013).  With all this data and the
computing power that computers have today, a lot of personal information (which
people want to be kept private) can be extrapolated with very minimal effort.

 

A few
Stanford students wanted to further examine this obstruction of privacy, so
they created an app called “Metaphone”, which tracks and analyzes phone calls.

More than 500 people signed up for this experiment and gave access to their
phone’s metadata. The application specifically collected the length of a text
message, whether it was an outgoing or incoming call, duration of a phone call,
and the phone numbers. As mentioned in Nsikan Akpan’s article, the students collected
“62,229 unique phone numbers, 251,788 calls, and 1,234,231 texts.” The students
then applied simple statistical algorithms to figure out key details about
these individuals. Using public records and mainstream applications such as
Google, Facebook, and Yelp, the students were able to identify 82% of the phone
numbers collected. They were also able to identify which individuals were in a
relationship with an astonishing 80% accuracy. 
There was a lot more revealed in Mr. Akpan’s article but I have just
mentioned a few.

 

If a few
Stanford students were able to figure out such private information with this
limited data, just imagine how much the NSA can figure out about your lives.

The NSA has much more data collected, as well as far superior machine learning
algorithms. Just as Edward Snowden said, “Don’t trust the government”.

 

 

 

References

Akpan, N. (2016). The secret things you give away through your
phone metadata. online PBS NewsHour. Available at:
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/your-phone-metadata-is-more-revealing-than-you-think
Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.

Davis, J. (n.d.). Video Games – An Escape From Reality?.

online Rcg.org. Available at:
https://rcg.org/realtruth/articles/346-vgaefr.html Accessed 14 Jan. 2018.

Gittleson, K. (2014). Is the video game industry sexist?. online
BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27824701 Accessed
14 Jan. 2018.

Kelley, M. (2013). Computer Science Professor Explains How Phone
Call Metadata Can Be More Revealing Than Content. online Business
Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/metadata-can-be-more-revealing-than-content-2013-8
Accessed 15 Jan. 2018.

Rabin, R. (2011). Video Games and the Depressed Teenager.

online Well Blogs. Available at:

Accessed 14 Jan. 2018.

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