Smartphones Are No Longer a Status Symbol

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Smartphones used to be a status symbol. But that has changed now that everyone has one. Now, the status symbol is in avoiding smartphones.

Not only are screens themselves cheap to make, but they also make things cheaper. Any place that can fit a screen in (classrooms, hospitals, airports, restaurants) can cut costs. And any activity that can happen on a screen becomes cheaper.

The rich do not live like this. The rich have grown afraid of screens. They want their children to play with blocks, and tech-free private schools are booming. Humans are more expensive, and rich people are willing and able to pay for them…All of this has led to a curious new reality: Human contact is becoming a luxury good.

How Netflix Makes the World Smaller With International Culture

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An opinion piece by Farhad Manjoo caught my eye. He writes how, instead of Netflix exporting American culture, it shares international culture with everyone.

Despite a supposed surge in nationalism across the globe, many people like to watch movies and TV shows from other countries. “What we’re learning is that people have very diverse and eclectic tastes, and if you provide them with the world’s stories, they will be really adventurous, and they will find something unexpected,” Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president for original content, told me.

Mr. Manjoo also mentions the difference between Netflix and other tech companies. Netflix sells subscriptions, not advertising. I think this is an important difference, in case foreigners get a negative impression from our typically garish ads.