Smartphones Suck!

Walk into any situation where people would, in pre-smartphone days, be paying attention to (and even talking to) other people present, and you find most of them have their noses stuck in their smartphones, unaware of what is happening around them. They no longer live in the real world. Their ability to communicate face-to-face with each other is degrading day-by-day, and they are being reduced to moronic slaves to their smartphones. Most of them are unaware of this, and even deny it when told. Really pathetic!

Credit: Maria Scrivan

  • Zero Hedge: Smartphone Addiction Tightens Its Global Grip

  • Paul Lewis: 'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia
  • There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called "continuous partial attention", severely limiting people's ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity — even when the device is turned off. "Everyone is distracted," Rosenstein says. "All of the time."
  • John Bell & John Zada: The Great Attention Heist
  • The consequences of this vast gambit for our attention is that we have been drawn into a kind of mental slavery. Masters of profits and propaganda are farming our minds, doing cumulative damage that may go to the very core of our humanity. As a result, our attention is becoming locked into a low level of living and functioning.

    Credit: Scoop.It

  • Sophie McAdam: Edward Snowden’s New Revelations Are Truly Chilling
  • He disclosed that [via the UK intelligence agency GCHQ] government spies can legally hack into any citizen’s phone to listen in to what’s happening in the room, view files, messages and photos, pinpoint exactly where a person is (to a much more sophisticated level than a normal GPS system), and monitor a person’s every move and every conversation, even when the phone is turned off.
  • Jean M. Twenge: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
  • The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household. The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns. Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone.
  • N.F. Mendoza: Yuck: 88% use smartphones on the toilet, and 44% put those phones in their mouths
    The survey uncovered that smartphones may pose the biggest risk when it comes to spreading disease. "Americans are bringing their phones into germ-ridden areas like the bathroom [and toilet], and then proceeding to put these devices in their mouths when their hands are full or handling them while cooking, without cleaning them first" ....

    Smartphone more interesting than people

    Credit: Dilbert by Scott Adams

  • Dmitri Orlov: The Technological Revolution Devours its Children
    Most of us have smartphones, laptops, store our data in the cloud and make use of abundant and free information resources — all the free apps you want, free blogging, free Youtube videos, etc. But what new resource has all this technology opened up for you, the user? The hardware costs you money (the average iPhone now costs around 800 USD) and the time you spend fiddling around with it is subtracted from all the other, potentially useful and gainful activities. ...

    The smartphones are generally effective in making their users spend money that they may or may not have on things they may or may not need. All of the free access to information is paid for by collecting data on users (spying, basically) and using it to create targeted ads that turn users into online shoppers. Everything is highly customized: women look at pictures of shoes; men look at pictures of power tools. Both the shoes and the power tools, if purchased, will be used a few times a year at most, but the money will be gone forever. The limiting factor here, of course, is the resource, which is you: once your savings are depleted and your debts are maxed out, you are cast out into the howling wilderness roamed by various troglodytes — those the information revolution has already eaten as well as those who were never on the menu.

  • Charles Hugh Smith: Is Social Media the New Tobacco?
    Social problems arise when initially harmless addictions explode in popularity, and economic problems arise when the long-term costs of the addictions start adding up. Political problems arise when the addictions are so immensely profitable that the companies skimming the profits can buy political influence to protect their toxic products from scrutiny and regulation.
  • Stuart A. Thompson and Charlie Warzel: Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy

    Every minute of every day, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones [including yours] and storing the information in gigantic data files. ... Each piece of information in [these files] represents the precise location of a single smartphone [such as yours] over a period of several months [or years] ... You've probably never heard of most of the [location tracking] companies — and yet to anyone who has access to this data, your life is an open book. They can see the places you go every moment of the day, whom you meet with or spend the night with, where you pray, whether you visit a methadone clinic, a psychiatrist's office or a massage parlor.
  • Kurt Nimmo: COVID-19, Smartphone Surveillance, and the State

    For the state, there is one primary imperative — to remain in power at all cost. If this imperative is to be successful, the state must impose, by stealth or deception, a system capable of monitoring all individuals who may pose an immediate or future threat to its dominance. ... Google and Apple have teamed up to create a system that tracks and traces individuals allegedly exposed to the coronavirus. "The technology would rely on the Bluetooth signals that smartphones can both send out and receive," NPR reports. ... The state, however, is far less concerned with the health of the American people than it is with enhancing its control over them, in particular those involved in political activism outside predefined parameters set by the state and its political class. ... If allowed to be implemented, total surveillance will negate all political threats and our natural rights as well.

  • Mobile phones are covered in germs. Disinfecting them daily could help stop diseases spreading.
    Contaminated mobile phones pose a real biosecurity risk, allowing pathogens to cross borders easily. Viruses can live on surfaces from hours to days to weeks. If a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2, it is very likely their mobile phone will be contaminated. The virus may then spread from the phone to further individuals by direct or indirect contact. Mobile phones and other touchscreen systems — such as at airport check-in counters and in-flight entertainment screens — may have contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19 around the globe.

  • Glenn Reynolds: Toxic Tech: How Social Media Is Making Us Dumb, Angry & Addicted

    People are more likely to believe misinformation on social media [such as Twitter] because they tend to only read headlines that mesh with their preconceived ideas, and they tend to get and share those headlines from friends, family, or people they see as ideological allies. This makes them less critical and more willing to pass on things that on further thought [if they are still able to think at all] they would probably recognize as bogus. In addition, of course, social media passes along only tiny niblets of information, allowing and even encouraging people to make assumptions about the background, assumptions that also tend to follow their preconceptions and prejudice.

  • Trevor Haynes: Dopamine, Smartphones & You: A battle for your time
    Unless the advertisement-based profit model changes, companies like Facebook will continue to do everything they can to keep your eyes glued to the screen as often as possible. And by using algorithms to leverage our dopamine-driven reward circuitry, they stack the cards — and our brains — against us. But if you want to spend less time on your phone, there are a variety strategies to achieve success. Doing things like disabling your notifications for social media apps and keeping your display in black and white will reduce your phone's ability to grab and hold your attention. Above all, mindful use of the technology is the best tool you have. So the next time you pick up your phone to check Facebook, you might ask yourself, “Is this really worth my time””

  • Didi Rankovic: Sales of "dumb phones" are increasing
    Dumbphones ... are simply mobile phones people use to make calls, text, play (locally stored) music or radios, and take photos — but not connected to what is now a meticulously controlled "hivemind" that the web has become. And for one reason or another, the dumbphone proposition appears to be becoming more and more appealing, as the world descends from one drama to another, each darker than the previous one: pandemics, wars, economic crises, mass surveillance, and the emerging dystopian phenomenon of "credit scores" that can make or break people's lives. The question of whether any or all of this can actually be avoided simply by using a dumbphone aside, some prefer them for purely technical reasons: their batteries last longer — and can be removed — they are generally repairable, and cost next to nothing.

  • Rachel Schepke: Smartphone addiction linked with lower cognitive abilities, less self-control, and worse psychological well-being
    For the full scholarly publication see: Problematic Smartphone Use Leads to Behavioral and Cognitive Self-Control Deficits
Smartphone addiction is real. It may not kill you, but it may impoverish your life. If you are a smartphone addict then now's the time to save yourself. Just say No.

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