This should make for a fun family Thanksgiving conversation in a certain San Francisco mansion. In a personal sign of just how weird 2020 has become, I find myself largely in agreement with someone named Pelosi on the issue of gun ownership. In this case it’s Nancy Pelosi’s filmmaker daughter Alexandra as opposed to the House Speaker herself, but it’s still fairly bizarre to hear a prominent Democrat say that she would rather buy her 12-year old sons a gun than an iPhone.
Alexandra Pelosi’s pronouncement came as part of her press appearances for her new documentary American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself, which is partly a documentary of the 2020 election and partly an examination into how the smartphone has changed our daily lives and our interactions with our fellow Americans.
In making American Selfie, Pelosi came to see the cellphone as ironically both the propulsion of American division and a unifying source of concern. “Every single person I talked to, no matter who they were going to vote for or if they weren’t going to vote at all or didn’t even know who was on the ballot, would say: social media is destroying our mental health,” she said. “It’s destroying our conversation.”
“People are so much angrier because of something they read on the internet that may or may not be true,” she said. “People now have these devices in their hands that feed them toxic mistruths.”