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Back in 2017 when blogging was cool, I poked a little fun at the irony of Digital Media simultaneously attempting to bury Traditional Media and flatter it by imitating the annual Upfronts in what they called the NewFronts. There’s no need to host a pre-sale of infinite inventory, but they just couldn’t stand to sit there and watch all the fun we were having. Read it here.

But now I’d like to talk about something more serious.

First of all, we now have something even more super awesome than the NewFronts …. The IAB PlayFronts! I actually think this is super-cool, pardon the sarcasm. Gaming is insane in popularity, user passion and most likely the gateway to the future of VR (not Meta). Accordingly, it’s a one of a kind event – an annual marketplace dedicated to advertising and partnership opportunities in the gaming industry. This will be to Drone Racers what the Oscars are to Movie Stars. I want in.

At the PlayFronts I will:

  • See never-before-seen Fortnite branded activation opportunities
  • Immerse myself in Meta’s Quest activation
  • Network with peers and build relationships at Twitter’s networking breaks (this will be for me SO super-awesome).
  • Hear hot-off-the press insights from SuperAwesome’s new Metaverse study 

This last one got me curious. “SuperAwesome” is actually a thing?? Dude, how super awesome is SuperAwesome, I asked myself? Their technology is “used by hundreds of brands and content-owners to enable safe digital engagement for under-16s. Built to ensure total digital privacy for young audiences”. Got it. The internet has wrecked a generation and so, why let a crisis go to waste, right?

How’s about this – if you’re under 16 stay OFF the internet. It’s a cesspool of waste. It’s anathema to emotional wellbeing.

Social Media and its ilk create a self-reinforcing spiral of negative effects. It lowers attention span which in turn creates poor performance at school, an inability to complete daily tasks, a lack of attention to detail, communication difficulties in relationships and an inability to practice healthy habits. It increases emotional manipulation, unattainable ideals and feelings of depression and anxiety. TikToc is bad for your brain and Predators are obsessed with TikTok.

The Surgeon General has put out an advisory on teen mental health. Self-harm amongst young teen girls 10-14 is up189% from 2009. Suicide rates have doubled. Facebook feeds people radical notions of their own predispositions. Some very smart people think a free and open society can not continue if Social Media continues to plow its way through. Quite simply put, it’s a sh*t show and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, not even SuperAwesome.

I thank God on a daily basis that I grew up without the internet. My daughter gave up video games for Lent and something magical has happened – She’s been reading like a bookworm, playing piano, shooting hoops… the stuff we used to do before Roblox came along…. Which by the way is a pretty cool game. I’ll probably see it at the NewFronts…

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