Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down?

The Globe and Mail:

The evidence for this goes beyond the carping of Luddites. It’s there, cold and hard, in a growing body of research by psychiatrists, neuroscientists, marketers and public health experts. What these people say – and what their research shows – is that smartphones are causing real damage to our minds and relationships, measurable in seconds shaved off the average attention span, reduced brain power, declines in work-life balance and hours less of family time.

They have impaired our ability to remember. They make it more difficult to daydream and think creatively. They make us more vulnerable to anxiety. They make parents ignore their children. And they are addictive, if not in the contested clinical sense then for all intents and purposes.

I don’t buy the full doom and gloom of the article but an overreliance on smartphones in any number of ways is definitely something to be watchful of. I see it in my “new” 12-year-old stepson. He’s “addicted” not to Facebook or Instagram or other social media but he’s very attached to gaming on his iPhone, so much so that it causes significant amounts of family friction.