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  1. #1
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Default Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

    More Lonely, Fewer 'Friends', Less Sex - Have Smartphones Destroyed A Generation? | Zero Hedge

    Ive been skeptical of smartphones ever since they came out, and held out myself on getting one until as late as 2012. I know that what we think we consciously want right now is not always what we actually want subconsciously, so anything that's instantly gratifying without any clear long term rewards always gives me pause. It took a while for the data to finally reflect and validate my initial concerns, but alas here we are.


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    Armchair Explorer Doctor Anaximander's Avatar
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    I don't disagree, but without further evidence, I'm apprehensive. Correlation does not always equal causation. What other potential variables, trends, developments, etc might also be related?
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    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asynartetic View Post
    I don't disagree, but without further evidence, I'm apprehensive. Correlation does not always equal causation. What other potential variables, trends, developments, etc might also be related?
    Innovative stagnation? Recession? The Obama era?

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    Armchair Explorer Doctor Anaximander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    Innovative stagnation? Recession? The Obama era?
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    I don't think smartphones are capable of destroying a generation. I do think people are overly-addicted to their own detriment, but that's not exactly unusual. Each generation deals with something similar in one way or another.
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    Would that it were that simple I'd say.

    People just imagine that if they shut of all their devices they'd be able to achieve a lot more with the time that they would have instead, in reality its unlikely, does anyone remember accomplishing a lot before their invention? Or was there some other diversion instead? Maybe people arent imagining it and TV used to be better than it is now and formerly could have given mobile devices a run for their money?

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    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asynartetic View Post
    I don't disagree, but without further evidence, I'm apprehensive. Correlation does not always equal causation. What other potential variables, trends, developments, etc might also be related?
    Some possible contributing factors:
    • General overscheduling of students with activities (sports, lessons, college classes, volunteering, etc.)
    • Less time/attention from parents due to need to work more jobs/hours
    • Teens working to help family and/or save for college
    • Increased cost of auto insurance for teens/burdensome licensing requirements

    Also, I'm not sure a decline in high schoolers having sex is a bad thing. No harm done saving it for later when they are more mature, and focusing on their education and extracurriculars while still in school

    All that being said, I do think smartphones have a definite negative effect, and not only on teens. People can't plan any more; or perhaps I should say, they don't want to bother. Everything is done on the fly, enabled by the ability to look up nearly anything right away on a smartphone. People assume others are active online to the same degree they are, and rely on social media to transmit info that previously would have taken a phone call or email (or, heaven forbid, a snail mail letter). Language has eroded with the rise of texting. People don't make provisions for an emergency or even think through possible situations, since they can always call for help, any time, anywhere. And people have thrown their privacy out the window by putting so much of their personal lives online, a development not caused by smartphones, but exponentially escalated by them.

    Yes, one can just as readily list positive effects of smartphones. I am not going to draw any broad conclusion here about whether the pros outweigh the cons. But full disclosure: I still have a tracfone, with a removable battery, that makes phone calls and awkwardly texts.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Some possible contributing factors:
    • General overscheduling of students with activities (sports, lessons, college classes, volunteering, etc.)
    • Less time/attention from parents due to need to work more jobs/hours
    • Teens working to help family and/or save for college
    • Increased cost of auto insurance for teens/burdensome licensing requirements

    Also, I'm not sure a decline in high schoolers having sex is a bad thing. No harm done saving it for later when they are more mature, and focusing on their education and extracurriculars while still in school

    All that being said, I do think smartphones have a definite negative effect, and not only on teens. People can't plan any more; or perhaps I should say, they don't want to bother. Everything is done on the fly, enabled by the ability to look up nearly anything right away on a smartphone. People assume others are active online to the same degree they are, and rely on social media to transmit info that previously would have taken a phone call or email (or, heaven forbid, a snail mail letter). Language has eroded with the rise of texting. People don't make provisions for an emergency or even thinks through possible situations, since they can always call for help, any time, anywhere. And people have thrown their privacy out the window by putting so much of their personal lives online, a development not caused by smartphones, but exponentially escalated by them.

    Yes, one can just as readily list positive effects of smartphones. I am not going to draw any broad conclusion here about whether the pros outweigh the cons. But full disclosure: I still have a tracfone, with a removable battery, that makes phone calls and awkwardly texts.
    I got my first smart phone in 2012, and up until that point I was heavily against them. I didn't want to be "dependent" on it, and I had associated with shallow selfie instagram culture and wanted no part of it. Eventually though after witnessing my PhD adviser for many months derive a lot of utility from it (and from having had an ipod touch for a year prior to this) I saw that it could be a benefit in some ways. Mix in I didn't want my dad to pay my cellphone bill anymore, I dumped my dumb phone and got a smart phone. I quickly fell in love with it because, well, there's so much you can do with it. It's a mini-computer that you always have on hand.

    I have made a conscious effort over the years to not be dependent upon it for information though. I still make a point to memorize my schedules, I have not allowed it to "offload" knowledge very much, and while I do use it for social media, it has not really replaced my computer and what not. Granted, at this point if I lost my phone (never happened, doubt it ever will) I'd be in a logistical snag because the consumer world has wrapped itself around phones. I use 2-point authentication for a number of my online accounts, including my bank for many purposes so it would be difficult to deal with not having it. In many ways phones have become electronic keys. I appreciate the convienence that smartphones bring me, but also acknowledge they can be a psychological detriment and distraction if one uses them too much. When I notice too much compulsive use I will put it in my desk drawer.

    As for kids now adays growing up on smart phones, my gut tells me they are doing something(s) that aren't good. But I don't think I can trust my gut fully with this. Smartphones have been designed around exploiting human psychology and making us "feel good", much more so than computers are capable of doing. That is a factor that sets phones apart. Despite that, there just isn't enough robust research out there to support how damaging they could be (particularly to kids), but if history is anything to go by, they probably aren't much worse than TVs.

    I think social media is more to blame than the phones themselves; they're simply a device. Because one can socialize online more easily than IRL, there is lessened push/motivation to socialize IRL. In the past it's all you could really get. Now you can subistitute and avoid the discomfort/risk involved with doing it in person.

    Ultimately though, the next generation is going to be fine (psychologically speaking). They always are. I am refusing to allow the temptation of becoming one of those adults who looks down on younger generations to take hold. It's neither fair, nor right.
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    This trend started to happen around 2004-2005 according to the data above. Not cause of the IPhone in 2007. So that's really off the mark.

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    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    I think lack of real life community is the real problem.


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