The world is full of lofty plans to achieve a higher objective. It’s what we do. The problem with all our plans is how often the fall apart completely, or need to be fully revamped before a goal is reached.
Sometimes we have to change the goals or objectives because our plans fall short. Robert Burns said it best; “The best-laid schemes of mice and men / Gang aft a-gley” (often go astray), “A man’s a man for a’ that.” Alright, that might have made sense in Scotland a century or two ago, but today we understand it this way:
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry
Or, put another way, no matter how carefully a project is planned, something can still go wrong and often does. I like this one:
It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently capable fool. Make something idiot-proof, and they will build a better idiot.
Fools be ingenious, no? That makes me wonder what Apple’s famous user interface engineers were thinking when they developed Screen Time for iPhone and iPad.
Apple hunk and official iOS honcho, Craig Federighi:
In iOS 12, we’re offering our users detailed information and tools to help them better understand and control the time they spend with apps and websites, how often they pick up their iPhone or iPad during the day and how they receive notifications
Seems like a lofty and noble goal.
Our team has worked thoughtfully over the years to add features to help parents manage their children’s content. With Screen Time, these new tools are empowering users who want help managing their device time, and balancing the many things that are important to them
In other words, controls. Child controls. App controls for children. Screen time usage. For children. It’s the Prego of iOS software. It’s all in there. Except little geniuses are so ingenious. What could go wrong?
Dig through this Apple Reddit discussion and you’ll see the problem.
I limited my 7-year old son’s screen time through the family share. For a few days I felt like he was playing a bit more than he should, but I couldn’t figure out why.
Who’s the fool now? What happened?
When he runs out of screen time and his games get locked, he heads to App Store, downloads a previously installed (but later removed) game through the cloud icon, and it works without limitations!
Nature will find a way. Not only can we not make something foolproof because fools are so ingenious, we can’t even make products that are childproof for much the same reason. This whole Screen Time application reminded me of the pilot for The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon and Leonard– with total IQ’s that topped 300– couldn’t find a way into a lockout building but a couple of Girl Scouts could.
Screen Time for iPhone and iPad is a good idea; a noble objective, too. We should be in control of our devices. That’s exactly what children think, too, and exactly why they find ways around the best laid plans of mice and men.