I am terrified about giving smartphones to my kids.
France's new rule (no smartphones in schools - no exceptions) is genius, and I applaud them for that.
What is a supercomputer in your pocket, with access to a significant portion of the sum total of human knowledge, good for, for most people?
Playing fucking candy crush.
We wish that we, humans, were better, but we are not.
So what can we do about it? I have no idea. The economic model already exists for games and facebook, and so on. And people have since the beginning of time been amused by trivial entertainment.
I guess the fact of the matter, or one way of looking at it is, there will always be people who choose trivial entertainment, and there will always be folks who chase knowledge and self improvement. And now, like always, we can do both of those things. But at least now, we can quantify ourselves better, and know more about the benefits and risks. And in that way, maybe more of us will choose to improve ourselves with these amazing tools.
An article about a "growing body of evidence" that fails to link to a single study. Great.
"Smartphone use takes about the same cognitive toll as losing a full night's sleep"
Would love to see this study, since it sounds completely implausible (but really important if true). Without looking at the research, the only reasonable course of action is to assume it's false.
To provide a slightly different perspective: I recently came across a great blogpost/newsletter: http://mailchi.mp/ribbonfarm/how-to-ride-your-brain-bicycle
It argues that the main reason we don't achieve our goals is not external factors, or the lack of an effective productivity system; it's a commitment failure. We have subconscious second thoughts whether our goals are actually important to us, we lack a sense of purpose.
"There is no point being focused, with a finely tuned productivity system, and maniacal discipline against distractions, if you're not sure what you're doing is worth doing"
So sure, our attention span is decreasing and we're becoming more easily distracted, but is that all there is to blame for the alleged productivity loss?
I'm sure that there is truth to our minds having problems dealing with the constant barrage of digital pings, but I also hate when the Microsoft/Canada study gets cited.
There are serious methodological problems with that study that lead to the convenient conclusion that humans on average have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. It's a sexy conclusion, but if you think about it for a moment there are so many implied assumptions in that claim. Chief among them is the issue that attention span tends to be heavily task dependent, so what does the average actually mean?
Here's a link to a BBC article that specifically discusses the attention span statistic: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38896790
This sort of thing worries me for a bunch of reasons, but the biggest one is that it seems like most kinds of successful endeavors require three things:
2. The means to set aside time for that persistence.
Number 2 is what most people tend to lack. Especially in our current climate, most people are mentally, physically, and financially exhausted by the ostensibly simple act of getting through a day and making sure that their existence is stable for the next month or so.
But let's say that we get to a point where your average person can have 1-3 hours every day to comfortably spend on their dreams. How much of that time would be spent right now on social media or idly flipping through some other form of cheap but nicely-diced and easy-to-digest content?
Probably most of it. But isn't that exactly what people already said about television and video games and stuff? Isn't it possible that that 'wasted' downtime is actually important to peoples' mental health? Maybe, but personally I think that social media has the comparative drawback that instead of relaxing you like other forms of entertainment, it probably makes you more stressed out. The article sure thinks that 'it's different this time.' And that makes for a vicious cycle of uselessness.
But at the same time, I also think that smart devices can be extremely useful - speaking of attention, how great is it to not have to remember things like 'what is the density of steel' or 'what sort of communication protocol does this chip use' while still being able to access that information in under a few seconds? That should be something that anyone can access cheaply and without artificial barriers.
So I guess attention is probably just going to be another commodity with staggering inequality of access. When you think about it, that's really fucked up; a person's mind and body should be the alpha and omega of their unalienable possessions, don't we hold anything sacred? How long until we're paying to turn off Harrison-Bergeron-style rigs?
Recommender Systems, trained to maximize revenue, are punishing kids for being curious.
I'm specially refering to YouTube here. Take for example the "cell biology" subject. In a few videos ahead you'll start getting non-scientific videos, as "recommendations".
Suffices to say that those videos speak about widely discredited life theories but with nicer stories.
These recommendations exploit the human brain in ways that even the creators can not comprehend.
We could, for example, use these technologies to teach children to solve equations. Use ML to find the optimal, user specific, series of teaching material that takes a child from zero to "can solve any equation involving +,-,* or /". But no, "we don't have the resources". Ah! want to go from cell biology to cute animations of pidgeons? Yes, we have de optimal path to get you there for free on YouTube.
This is what stuck out to me in the article:
> Lactation consultants in Canada and the United States have begun noticing the prevalence of women texting and scrolling through their phones while they breastfeed, breaking valuable eye contact with their baby.
Normally I'm in the skeptic camp on this issue. That screens are just the new generation's version of comic books or rock and roll rotting the minds of our youth, and headlines like these are making a mountain out of a molehill.
But that bit about mothers making less eye contact with their babies while breast feeding kind of made me do a double take. I could see real psychological damage coming from stuff like that and the broader idea that parents using devices and neglecting their kids more is the real problem (as opposed to those other boogey-men, where it was the kids' usage that was the problem).
The collapse of the early high-minded era of tech is almost complete. The world envisioned by luminaries like Kay & Papert, where computers would be programmed by people as part of a process of developing individuals' potentials, has devolved to that of Facebook, Google and Twitter, where people are programmed by computers purely for the self-interested purposes of tiny financial elites.
It was perhaps predictable that a society with greed as its primary organising principle would end up deploying new tech like this. But the sheer speed and comprehensiveness of the takeover has been breathtaking.
"Matt Mayberry, who works at a California startup called Dopamine Labs, says it's common knowledge in the industry that Instagram exploits this craving by strategically withholding "likes" from certain users. If the photo-sharing app decides you need to use the service more often, it'll show only a fraction of the likes you've received on a given post at first, hoping you'll be disappointed with your haul and check back again in a minute or two."
If that's true, that's pretty genius and downright scary!
It's ok to use your phone. It's not OK when your phone use disrupts your relationships or consumes more time than you'd really want.
What helped me, is backing away from services. Uninstall apps from your phone and use a web browser to visit them. You don't have to stop using them if you don't want to, just make them harder to get to and less noisy.
My phone is mostly for texts and phone calls now, and I don't do much else with it.
I'm always a little skeptical of arguments that new technologies are actually damaging. I'm willing to accept that people are sometimes unhappy adjusting to new things (and that people are unhappy with how other people use their new technology), but people have been saying that [new technology here] is bad for thousands of years—Plato even complained about writing because it's "bad for memory". If you frame the questions such that the metrics you choose to measure it are going to come up poorly, then yes, new technology looks bad.
It's probably a vast problem to analyse, but I can sense tangible negative side effects. Even though I don't use it that often, it does tickle a part of my brain that distort the sense of time and creativity. You become a passive consumer of idea and social validation, both of which (at least in my case) are shallow incarnation of the real ones (creating and having meaningful social bonds)
it's surprising that something "liberating" ends up backfiring that way, not that surprising but still a bit considering how hyped up it was not long ago.
I haven't read the article (I'm part of the problem!) but headlines like these strike me as hyperbole. I recall some hubbub about excessive reading damaging kids minds. I heard some other stories about luddites lamenting the increased usage of pens for note-taking, claiming it hurt memory.
I also recall reading that we have changed because of reading and note taking. Yet here we are.
So while it may be fair to say "changing" it is harder for me to accept "damaging". Our species adapts to new circumstances and if the new circumstance is a distracting world then calling adaptation "damaging" seems unhelpful.
I like how so many comments here are looking down on candy crush (or fb or whatever) but are totally ok with 'self improvement' / 'learning' etc.
IMO - The latter is also mental clutter: There is a limit to # of information that will be useful - it is best to collect information relevant to your current pursuits now and leave the rest of the world for later (to an extent: you probably want to keep tabs on the overall sitch though). Bingeing on HN or other useful sites all day instead of focussing on your current goals is almost the same - a different dopamine hit, that's all.
I've been thinking a lot lately about this Herbert Simon Quote:
"In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it."
Btw, this was from 1971. ;-)
The problem isn't smartphones, it's culture. We've just not adapted to this new reality yet.
The same was true during every major human revolution. We no longer have the attention span of our ancestors, but that's because it doesn't make sense to have so much of it. Nature goes for the lowest energy state, so if you introduce something that takes over for you then your brain is going to put that previous work to some other use.
There is no better or worse when it comes to this stuff, it's all just conditions of our present situation.
Is reduced attention span bad? Only if the world loses all the progress it's made. Which is a possibility, but a reduced attention span is the least of our worries if society collapses.
This is just fear mongering as usual. Humans are defined by our incredible ability to adapt. We're going to just keep on doing that, like the previous 100,000 years.
I think this thesis is correct but it ignores the good things you can do.
I don’t think it is true for everyone .
I like texting people or using a messaging service . Yesterday I hanged out with my friend to code I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t have a cell phone.
Today I used my phone to aid in my work activities .
Frequently I use my cell phone to write down notes about ideas during the day and learn new things (ML and program synthesis).
But, I know that I have bad habits that the author says in the text. I think you should take a balanced approach . Moderation is always a good idea .
I've been wondering about the new cellular Apple Watch. In particular, I wonder if I could get away with just having that, and use it to train myself out of idly reading the news during periods of micro-boredom.
The main thing keeping me from trying it as an experiment, is that I use my phone primarily for mobility (transit schedules, Car2go, ReachNow, lyft, bikeshare, etc.). And it appears that the majority of the services I use don't have watch apps.
I see kids (my own and others) using computers in two different ways. Some spend the majority of their time as "consumers". Some spend the majority as "producers". Ad-driven monetization favors consumption, and we see many more hit social apps that are great for consuming but terrible at producing. But there is a whole genre of producer apps out there. My daughter, when she was young, spent hour with Scratch. Scratch is amazing! In high school she spend hours with Sketchup. Even the sim games are good in that you must think ahead and problem solve. There are far too few programs like that. Smartphones are inherently week for content creation. Tablets are better. Desktops are still best. You need space to draw or paint or program.
My personal hope is that 5" screens are a passing fad. We've only had them for a few years, and I am hopeful that we'll only have them for a few more. Then we switch to AR. And again we'll have big screens, and developers will hopefully be inspired to create programs that support creation and exploration and discovery.
So don't blame "digital". Blame the narrow interface channel and the easy money of ad-driven social media. I am of the opinion that those types of apps will not hold the attention of users once we have high-fidelity interfaces. We will be able to blame developers (ourselves) if the programs we create and use aren't up to the potential. How about a virtual wood-working shop? How about space-filling virtual instruments? How about apps to crowd-solve some tough societal problems?
My smartphone is much more engaging than was the TV I grew up with (three channels and bad commercials). I think there will be great creator-geared apps in the future, and great user-created content. We do have to make sure that creators of virtual art and goods can profit from their work. Do that, and people will be eager to fill the vacuum of cyberspace.
Excuse me while I enjoy a nice hit of dopamine for writing this witty response. mMMMM dopamine. What was that about damaging my mind now?
Just a personal anecdote here: I live with my brother and most days, from the time he comes home from work to the time he goes to bed is mostly spent glued to his phone. Hard or impossible to talk to him while he's on it. He's mostly on Instagram and silly games - sometimes Bumble or whatever. Nice guy but gets flustered and/or puts me on hold (indefinitely) when I try to talk to him. He's a couple years older than me - in his late 20's.
I've tried talking to him about it, saying I can hardly talk to him (if ever) and he completely defends his position, saying he uses phone to keep in touch with friends, notifications admitedly feel good, etc.
I think that the touch interface of smart Phones causes a dopamine reward in the brain. So when you get a push message or likes the touching of the screen reinforces dopamine.
Observering smart phone zombies, people walking around addicted to their smart phones not aware of their local immediate surroundings.
Social media is cashing in on the most valuable assets you have friends and family selling gained information as advertising. Thus we are addicted to selling information about ourselves. We are addicted to the dopamine reward of getting likes on social media.
New Years resolution try and use cell phones less as they are addictive. So far going so so.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and other industry insiders probably known about the addiction. That is why their children are not given cell phones.
Cell phone interruptions probably are a cause of shorter attention spans. Short attention span are not good when solving mental problems. People are taking ADHD attention like Ritalin,Adderol deficit order medicines to cope with short attention caused by smart phones.
Instead of being with local friends and family we are on our cellphones. Instead of watching movies together we watch personal streams on Netflix.
Cell phones are addictive.
I just got back from a trip to joshua tree for a week where none of us had phone service. Our only means of communication was when we met up or posted notes on physical community boards.
Pretty much every single one of us commented on how that made the trip so much better. I personally felt so relieved by the disconnect and wished I could stay that way. Just a small anecdote.
I find useful Tristan Harris‘s essays on how people get programmed to accept UI defaults that keep us engaged continually.
I try to use social media for just two things: 1) follow a few tech people who post interesting/useful links 2) promote my books or links to new blog articles I write
To engage friends and family I prefer phone calls or one to one email exchanges.
I have been using computers since the mid 1960s and the effect on society of small digital devices has been amazing to watch (and live through).
> In the first five years of the smartphone era, the proportion of Americans who said internet use interfered with their family time nearly tripled, from 11 per cent to 28 per cent.
It is a pet peeve of mine when these kinds of casual exaggerations enter into a statistic. An increase by a factor of ~2.55 is quite far from a factor of 3.
I could argue the global population has nearly tripled since 1959 . This is a rounding of similar proportions, which would lead you to believe there are 9 billion people on Earth rather than 7.6 billion.
That sleight of hand incurrs an error of 1.4 billion people.
While I understand the concerns (and fact that we need to protect to some degree minds of the youth) I do think it's a bit scare mongering.
Being unhumble, I think that us - rather intelligent crowd - can't really relate to people who are going to waste their time doing low-effort activities and find it way too terrifying that they do this. The only thing that shifts is what people spend their time on. Now it's smartphone, decade ago it was computers, another decade it was television and prior to that reading low-value romance/detective/horror fiction.
That's just how it is and it's always going to be low-value and maybe even damaging activities, but there is nothing we can do about it. The only thing we can do is measure it better, because smartphone is much better in gathering the data, than - for example - books are ;)
On the other hand I have 45 minutes of my phone screentime in last 24h so it might be, that I'm not seeing the issue, because I can't see the problem firsthand.
I don't have enough attention span to read the whole article
Does anyone have ideas as to how one could get involved in combatting these effects? I mean as a cause to fight for, where one could make an impact on others' (particularly the younger gen) lives.
I'm aware of the organization Time Well Spent led by Tristan Harris, and have signed up to volunteer (but have not heard back). In the meantime, what can I do as an individual? This is something I've grown to really care about, but am not sure what to do on an individual level besides my own damage-mitigation tactics (deleting FB, etc.)
My framing for this: We are the sum total of our thoughts. Letting someone/something else direct them isn't how I wanted to live.
I recently purchased a light phone, which has been helpful in disconnecting. I have the option to leave my smartphone at home and I'm still reachable via a regular phone call.
note: I'm in no way affiliated w/Light Phone
Funny happenstance that I had to see this thread just as I come back from my Dutch language class. Tonight I had to debate (of course in Dutch) for 15 minutes, as part of an interim exam, with my co-debater about "Are smartphones making us dumber?"
Where we quoted studies and statistics in turns—"Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One's Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity"; in 2017, people spent over 4 hours a day (86 hours a month) staring at their phones, and so on.
I ended it with my favourite tip (that I've been exercising for 2 years): Put every goddamned thing and everyone on mute (i.e. no notifications), except your partner / "person you like the most" / SO.
The restored peace has been clarifying.
Edit: I barely use any applications, besides tools like train schedule look-up, English-to-Dutch dictionary, Maps and occasionally camera. And no "social media", besides the reasonable exception of limited HN minutes. (My phone—a four-year-old Nexus 5, which just underwent a battery replacement surgery by yours truly, saving a handsome 45€, and good to go for three more years with LineageOS.)
I would be interested to see research that compares TV in past eras with smart phones of today. I wonder if research showed the same types of trends with TV during the mid century when it became so ubiquitous.
I'm not saying smartphones are not damaging, but I think humans have always looked for ways to cut lose and that often means in ways that are unhealthy.
Human race always needs time to digest/adapt to new stuff, such as smartphones.
Unlike previous new gadgets(TV, even internet), smartphone is so powerful that nothing in human history can match, basically, it stretches our very brain with this little super computer in the pocket at all fronts: be it knowledge, games, constant-on social network, it is just too much for the young.
They're as addictive as drugs to kids' brains, especially when considering teens should be learning the world around them at their age, now they stare at the little screen as much as they could. it makes kids dumber, more lonely, while feel good, the way how drugs work.
The phone makers, the router makers, the cellular operators need work together to give us a few kids mode for their online life, as soon as possible.
I recommend everyone to read the book Deep Work by Cal Newport
lol I read some of these comments and all I hear is "Protect the children!"
Introducing your kids to any technology is an excellent way to teach them responsibility and how technology can be used to increase their understanding of the world around them. But this would require you to spend time with your kids and guide them along their journey with enough freedom to make mistakes.
I have 2 kids 5 & 10 that started using phones at 2 years old. A couple of broken screen and a few dramatic crying fits, but I can trust both of them to use technology with respect. Of course the 5 year is still learning and that happens everyday. The 10 year old is amazing now at self control with usage of his phone while interacting with others.
I say start them early to learn good habits, but also demonstrate good habits in your household.
It's a fascinating subject and I'm not sure of others but I certainly have found that my brain has changed with the advent of Smartphone usage. I truly wonder if a child's brain could be reversed from effect that will be set in by a constant on, constant feedback and lack of need for knowledge retention.
Smartphones, like any other technology, is neither bad or good. It just is. It's a tool. You can use it to do good things or you can use it to do bad things. I would tax these corporations and use the money to raise awareness and that's about all we can do.
Apple seriously needs to allow us to have proper parental tools.
I can get tools on Android that allow me to limit app use, website access, and other things. The best I can do on Apple is take the phone away when the child shouldn't use it. I literally have two Apple phones (because I'm locked into the iMessage/Find my Friends ecosystem) - one with nothing but basic apps and locked down with Restrictions, and one which has all the games and stuff which he can play for a limited amount of time per day. Not fun.
Apple gives parent's vastly insufficient tools to monitor and manage their kids use of these devices.
A mode which progressively throttles performance until it becomes unusable with controls to vary the throttle rate and the expiry time would be useful.
Parents could give their kids the device which (deepening on settings or detection of compulsive use) would actively restrict their screen time.
Two Major Apple Shareholders Push for Study of iPhone Addiction in Children: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-08/jana-calp...
I stopped using a smartphone 2 months ago, switching to a flipphone with wi-fi calling. When I made the switch, the employees in the mobile store acted as if they had lost one of their own and outwardly displayed the 7 stages of grief for my old phone as I returned it for something without a touch screen...
1. Shock & Denial - ...I was asked if I was 'sure about this' more than 10 times during the transfer and repeatedly dissuaded from making the "down"grade.
2. Pain & Guilt- ...I was told that no one had done this before, that it was not recommended for any customer, and skeptically prodded as if in attempts to uncover that I lacked the qualities and smartphone use cases that make one human.
3. Anger & Bargaining- ...As one of the employees started setting up the phone for me, another came over, asked what model it was, and snickered loudly before saying how sh&@$#y the outdated messaging system was on the phone. I begrudgingly sat through spiels on several other models that didn't fit my requirement of 'just no apps'.
4. "Depression", Reflection, Loneliness- ...The 4 employees started talking amongst themselves in a ring about the old days, before any of them had a smartphone. There were noticeable pauses and head tilts throughout the conversation. I had been here an hour at this point.
5. The Upward Turn- ...They handed me the phone and one even said he envied me and wished me good luck.
6. Reconstruction & Working Through- ...I signed the contract and they showed me how to do wi-fi calling, cellular, and send messages, the only features I had wanted in the first place.
7. Acceptance & Hope- ...The employee who originally helped me said I "just had" to email him back to tell him what it was like on the "outside".
It was the most surreal experience, a basic exchange of products and services that from the perspective of everyone around me was akin to renouncing my citizenship.
I wish we can use the same technology to turn all distractions into opt-ins instead of opt-outs.
i.e. once a month, you get a Gmail or iPhone admin notice that says: "This month, these 4 new apps you installed and there 3 new domains started trying to send you app notifications and mailing list emails. Here are the categories of notifications and a few samples. Do you allow them to continue communicating with you?"
I was ready to go back to a flip phone because I was aware of how many times a day I checked my phone because of FOMO or whatever. Then I found out I could get my phone subsidized by my employer and that was enough to keep me using a smart phone.
Now I feel only slightly better that I'm not paying for my bad habit and still guilty about the addiiction and associated "damage to my mind".
Is hacker news one of the digital distractions?
Hmm. When I was a kid we were all boiling our brains by watching too much tv. Meanwhile I learned a great deal about the world and got my lust for scientific knowledge by watching tv. Mind you, channels with commercials were strictly banned in our house.
Smartphones are much harder to lock down than a laptop. I don't know about the iPhone but Android makes it a pain in the ass -- don't suggest stuff I've looked very hard already, some things you could do are simply impractical.
I plan on abandoning my smartphone next month. Not certain enough to say that I’m abandoning smartphones for good, but I sort of feel that way. I’m over it.
isn't a cell phone just the most recent folk devil? 
It used to be rock and roll.
Before that it was dungeons and dragons.
Trace it back far enough, and you get to the moral panic when people started reading books.
the fear of new technologies is a cyclical phenomenon. maybe one day the fear will be well-placed, but the historical record suggests that contemporary individuals can't tell the difference.
The only thing I see is that smartphones fixed boredom. Waiting 15 minutes or even 45 minutes in line is no longer a painful experience.
Or in the words of the ancient philosopher plato upon learning about the written textbook
"""If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks."""
And just as Plato had a point but missed a greater one something similar might be said about the campaign against the a decentralized authority free media landscape that seams to be replacing it.
Were kind of seeing a kind of trend where every new media invention goes though a cycle of hype and fear towards a new normal and usually a new political and cultural structure. And i suspect that a lot of the "fear" is at least partially a part of that process.
Not to be said that smartphones are different from for instance newspapers in having serious and dangerous problems* but it's equally dangerous to respond to new by trying to preserve an equally broken old model for information/entertainment distribution.
*Remember the Maine?
Why are we pretending this is unique or new to smartphones.
Television has worked this way for a long time, all media and advertising has worked on the same principals.
Instead of pretending this is "new and scary", we should be focusing on understanding the impacts and limits, and how much is too much, rather than this grey and white false narrative that smartphones are somehow solely responsible for the increasingly intrusive advertisements and attention grabbing reality we've been constructing for decades longer than smartphones have been around.
Who here has more information about this "Instagram strategically withholding likes to exploit craving"? This seems like a serious issue.
Despite being a techie, I never got a smartphone, never made a facebook account (or any other social media account). The downsides seemed just as abundant and clear to me all those years ago as they do today (despite the benefits). There is plenty of time to be "connected" while I sit in front of my computer - which is already the majority of my day. I relish having time to myself, with my thoughts, without being barraged by all sorts of (mostly useless) information. It just doesn't seem appealing at all to be constantly in contact with everyone, all the time. Read a book, write a letter, sit down with a newspaper.
Moment for iOS and rescue time for Mac and Windows. Fantastically helpful!!
Rampant caffeine consumption in high levels is not helping our focus either.
I wish we’d stopped discussing the effects and started discussing potential mitigation measures
what about internet? There is a ton of stuff out there on the internet that is bad for kids, so shouldn't that be controlled too ?
I was thinking about this the other day.
There is nothing "smartphone" about games. A board game, a video game, or even sports is a game that is fun and engaging that anyone can do together, as is any smartphone game.
There is nothing "smartphone" about the news or social media or email. These have all been here, and just moving them to our pockets alone can't be that damaging.
And there is nothing "smartphone" about ads or paid content or even facebook likes.
What's "smartphone" is the immediacy and the frequency of the connectivity. It's the bond that is stronger -- and hence the more of us more strongly bound to our phones.
But this alone can't be damaging. It's just amazing. What is damaging are the businesses, and people mind you, that abuse this bond. Ourselves included.
So what we really have is a new tool that just gives us more of what we want faster.
Of course this is game changing. Of course this is dangerous. But whether we let this damage us is still a choice. And at the end of the day, a lot of it is just people abusing and damaging people. It's clear we can't help ourselves. But we can also help ourselves, which is what most of these articles appear to be about.
The point being, demonizing smartphones is just shifting blame. Getting rid of them is getting rid of the problem, not finding a solution. With the overarching point being, they themselves are not that dangerous.
They can't be.
Or maybe I'm still missing something...
But choice is good, right?
I am convinced there would be a decent market for a dumb phone with an iPhone quality camera, and the only 'smart' functionality it should have is getting pictures off the camera easily.
I know several families who have transitioned to all dumbphones, and the only thing they report missing after a while is a having a decent camera on hand.
Take anything to it's extreme and it will be bad for you. The key to social media, just like gambling, drugs, or food, is to not abuse it to the point where it becomes an integral part of your life.
I can understand why people would feel bad about their role in creating modern social media, it's basically crack. But new potential addictions are created every day, that's just the inevitable nature of the human mind and society. You can't feel bad because people enjoy what you've create too much.
Kaczynski was right
What growing body of evidence? The article references no studies. This article does not meet HN's discussion guidelines and should be removed.
> "What does "deeply interesting" mean? It means stuff that teaches you about the world."
This article teaches us nothing.