June 4, 2018
If you’ve been alive in the past decade or so, you’ve probably become abundantly aware of how smartphones are taking over the time and space of people of all ages — some statistics show that Canadians spend almost 5 hours daily on their phones, and just two years ago, over three quarters of Canadians owned a smartphone (see this article in the Star about the potential negative impact of smartphones on young people’s mental health). Jean M. Twenge weighed in on the topic in a more lengthy analysis, published in the Atlantic last autumn. Other articles point out that smartphones don’t necessarily have negative effects for all young people, or in all circumstances; read this article in Nature, which highlights a more balanced view of the effects of smartphones on youth health and wellness.
Are smartphones truly “ruining a generation,” and if so, what can be done to mitigate the effects of a tool that – for all intents and purposes – is ubiquitous, and not going anywhere anytime soon?