Digital Distractions: Your Brain on Screens

Check out “Your Brain on Screens,” my article published in the American Interest. Also, here is a podcast where I discuss the topic with Richard Aldous:


Scientists debate whether we are truly addicted to our devices. They also question whether the internet makes us dumber by weakening memory or smarter by showering us with facts, and whether social apps isolate us more than they connect us. What no one seems to dispute is that our attention spans have gone to hell.

brainonscreens“Social media fatigue”, I said to the dozen tenth-graders in the paneled library of Ft. Lauderdale’s Pine Crest School. “Who’s heard of it? Has anyone felt it?”

The students remained silent. Nothing beats silence to make teenagers blurt out their thoughts. I let the silence hang until a blond, acne-afflicted 15-year-old swathed in a green varsity jacket slowly raised his hand. Continue reading

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