Sos addiction to smartphones, in the Eli library second stage of the “Cortocircuito” review

by Daniele Magrini

Has the title “Smartphone slaves” session organized by RomaH24 at the Eli Library in Viale Somalia in Rome, for the “Cortocircuito” assessment. In this second stage is the book from which the discussion begins “Put the phone away” (Mondadori) by Aldo Cazzullo. A text in which the author, deputy director of the Corriere della Sera, talks to his teenage children, Rossana and Francesco, in a lively question and answer about the relationship between teenagers and smartphone addiction.

On the stage of Eli with the author, as an expert there Gianluigi Ciacci, Lawyer and Professor of Forensic Informatics at Luiss University. Maria Grazia Lancelotti, teacher at Orazio High School in Montesacro, brings her direct experience of the relationship between young people and smartphones. The event will be hosted by RomaH24 Director Luigi Carletti and journalist Giulia Argenti.

“Slave to the smartphone or the main smartphone behind the digital revolution?” Carletti asked at the opening of the event. Cazzullo’s book, co-written with his children, is of extraordinary relevance even though it was published in 2017, it is of particular interest, both for its almost prophetic aspect, and for the subject increasingly at the center of the particular family dynamics. The real digital revolution has probably – says the director of RomaH24 – a Leap in quality in 2007 with the birth of the smartphone and social networks. From that moment on, everyone goes online “.

Aldo Cazzullo signs some copies of “Put the phone away”

Aldo Cazzullo agrees with Carletti: “It is important to talk about this here,” he emphasizes, “in an independent library, which is a major cultural and exchange center. Right, Steve Jobs changes everything. We always call it a cell phone, but our children never answer when we call them. For them, the smartphone is a springboard for diving into the net. The Internet is a big square where everyone is talking and nobody is listening. So many raise their voices, insulting. And that creates frustration because we live with the mirror that the cell phone has now become. The mechanism of social media is perverse. I realized this when I did a column 15 years ago about video games that create addictions that have provoked hundreds and hundreds of insults in me. There is a generation that risks never playing football. Real life replaced by virtual life is a phenomenon even more striking with the pandemic. Not to mention that the money the big web companies earn with this system will only enrich the web capitalists. And we will not get anything back, not even taxes. “

The teacher Maria Grazia Lancellotti

What about school? asks Carletti. Principal Lancelotti replies: “In school, for the first time, children know more than teachers about digital culture. And maybe they even know how to ‘cheat’ them better. The father was much less traumatic for them than for the teachers. Now we need to understand what is the best way to build a dialogue that has opened up the pandemic and made it less intense. As educators, we also need to lend a hand in exposing fake news. We have more awareness to convey it to them and ensure that critical thinking remains the basis of all training. Knowledge can seem to pass through the net and also through the smartphone, and if it has to pass through these tools, ok, as long as we manage to protect critical thinking.

Gianluigi Ciacci with Giulia Argenti

Luigi Carletti underlines the problem of rules that do not seem so clear. The expert, Professor Ciacci, answers: “In fact, I find myself a little techno-depressive – he says – when I think of the legal dynamics in this area. Now it is a question to respond because the laws can not ignore how widespread the use of the network is.

Giulia Argenti asks Cazzullo if, after writing the book, he agreed with his children on certain issues related to the use of mobile phones: “Yes – she answers – they are often right. Without a smartphone you can no longer stay and it’s also true that thanks to this tool they have access to all the worlds they want. And I answer, if I do not hear it anymore, there is a reason … Of course, there are dangerous topics: never post intimate photos on social media, never even send them to your friend. And then the video games that kidnap our kids. How can this degeneration be prevented by the rules? And also to protect copyright, after what happens with the law that was adopted by the European Parliament two years ago? ”. Cazzullo’s question is addressed to Ciacci. He responds: “It needs a well-rounded approach to the rules, also because web companies always find the world to circumvent the rules. We need to find a varied strategy without thinking that everything can be solved in a single way and quickly.” .

Carletti asks Cazzullo if writing his book has helped him strengthen his relationship with his children: “Yes – the author replies – paradoxically it has helped us learn to talk to each other. At the end of the book, the Grandmother opened a chat with my children called “Grandmothers for Rescue,” with whom they talk to their grandchildren, “Cazzullo concluded, leaving the debate due to editorial commitments.

What are the changes of the pandemic on children and their relationship with the smartphone is a topic presented by Giulia Argenti to the doctor Lancelotti: “The changes are there and we still have to realize that we are not back to normal school – answers the teacher -. We are in a bubble where the rule of the mask is already deeply touched. The boys are being tortured on the one hand by hut syndrome in order not to go out and stay safe, and on the other hand to go out and expect to recover two years of life. As if they wanted compensation: It must not happen that in the occupied schools damage of 30,000 euros is made for an excess of rebellion. “The rebellion is right, but in the right channels.”

Fir Gianluigi Ciacci, “Technologies cannot be prevented by rules. Technology does not hold back. It should be known the best way to use it should be learned. The opportunity we have is to improve together with the boys. Study the best way to learn thanks to new technologies and new lessons to appreciate more of the students “.

Carletti then asks another question to the speakers: “But have family and school not been enough in the digital revolution? How did they miss the mark?”

According to Maria Grazia Lancelotti, in the school “the situation was very varied. When we were told two years ago to close the school, some teachers had never recorded a computer. The father can not be understood as a lecture from a distance “Perhaps the time has come to contaminate the disciplines without the waterproofing of the various programs.”

Then comes the tour of speeches from the public, many and all different from each other. There are those who emphasize that “the state and politics are fleeting too. Even more so than school and family”. Others emphasize the need for permanent education, where universities and social realities collaborate for the necessary digital emancipation. In order not to stay on the side of a technological era from which there is no turning back. That is why a continuous process of digital literacy is needed – underlining the space “.

From left: Luigi Carletti, Marcello Ciccaglioni and Maria Grazia Lancellotti

In conclusion, Luigi Carletti recalls the RomaH24 campaign, “Dear Russian friend, I am writing to you”, launched on Tuesday, March 15, to spread the truth about the war in Ukraine, to beat Putin’s propaganda and censorship. In his welcome, Marcello Ciccaglioni, of Eli Bookshop, announces the April 21st meeting focusing on ‘Everything Covid Has Taught Us’. and there will be another “appointment of great social value as this evening will focus on the book by Aldo Cazzullo. I sell books and I always read in the newspapers that fewer books are sold. Unfortunately, that means less reflection and less talking. A In some situations, even in families, there could be moments when the smartphone is not everyday.

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