A newsletter about decentralization

Published every Sunday. Subscribe today!

July 25-31, 2021

For many students, the reopening of in-person schools soon will mean being "alone together" again. Chalk it up as an unintended downside to their avid smartphone use — and misuse.

Psychologists Jonathan Haidt and Jean M. Twenge, who have researched teen depression and other ill effects of smartphones on minors, took to the New York Times today to discuss the problem.

In particular, they recommend that schools outright ban phone usage during the day so students can focus better on classroom learning. This would effectively reserve the devices for communication while in transit to and from school — the safety-related use case parents always cite as the rationale for buying kids phones in the first place.

Offhand, this strikes me as a great idea. (Coincidentally, it's also consistent with the approach many Silicon Valley leaders, including some famous ones, advocate at their own kids' schools.) But to be honest, I'm not too hopeful about it being implemented widely, considering how addicted many adult decisionmakers in the process are to their phones. That might be the only part Haidt and Twenge didn't address in their otherwise excellent essay.

The week's other headlines:

That's it for now. As ever, a quick disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only, not as investment advice. For the latter, please DYOR and consult appropriate financial professionals to make the most suitable choices for your particular needs.

Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! A full revision history of it, including earlier drafts, is available here if you're interested. If you'd like to get updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.

— Peter A. McKay


A full archive of all the HTML for the #Web3 Weekly newsletter is available for download via GitHub.

All #Web3 Weekly content is free to use and share with appropriate attribution under Creative Commons 4.0 license.


#Web3 Weekly covers the movement toward a more decentralized internet, sometimes referred to as "Web 3.0." In doing so, we define decentralization broadly and try to make the topic accessible to both geeks and non-geeks alike.

Peter A. McKayThe newsletter started as a personal project by consultant Peter A. McKay in 2017. In its early iteration, the newsletter was sometimes published on an occasional basis, under slightly different titles. Since fall 2019, it has run continuously as #Web3 Weekly.