• 06 NOV 23

    Doctors, Lawyers, and Scientists Join Together in International Children’s Declaration for the Digital Age

    Three Fundamental Rights of Children Are Affirmed Regarding Digital Technology NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — An international group of leading lawyers, physicians, physicists, epidemiologists and other children’s health experts have today announced their support for a new International Declaration intended to raise public awareness of three fundamental rights of children which are not

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    • 07 MAR 23

    This teen gave up her smartphone. It changed her life. (The New York Times)

    Excerpt: How many hours do you spend on your phone each day? Probably more than you’d like. In our technology-saturated world, we rely on our devices for what feels like an endless list of daily tasks — everything from staying up-to-date on Twitter to killing time at the post office. The idea of reclaiming any degree of independence from our smartphones can often feel impossible.

    For the 17-year-old Logan Lane, the solution was to quit cold turkey. Lane grew up in Brooklyn and was a screen-addicted teenager who spent hours curating her social media presence on Instagram and TikTok. Then, a little over two years ago, Lane started questioning whether living a life of constant connection was actually a good thing and made the decision to ditch her smartphone altogether. She began assembling a “Luddite Club” — a group of teenagers who reject technology and its creeping hold on all our lives….SNIP

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    • 03 FEB 21

    China just issued a full ban on phones in schools

    EXCERPT: Effective immediately, China’s Ministry of Education said the ban would apply to all school children.

    Chinese authorities have banned cellphones in classrooms and school grounds effective immediately in an effort to protect students from digital addiction and save their eyesight.

    The ban will apply to all schoolchildren across the country.

    Chinese students will only be allowed to bring a mobile device to school only under special circumstances. However, during class, all devices would be surrendered to the teachers, said the ministry on its website on Monday.

    Aimed at “protecting the students’ eyesight and making them focus on study,” the ministry’s new rule strived to prevent student addiction to the internet while enhancing their physical and psychological development, the directive detailed….SNIP

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    • 17 MAR 20

    Get addictive smartphones out of our schools. Letter by Murray May

    THE addictive nature of digital technology and smartphones is underlined twice in the March 5 edition of “CityNews”. Kate Meikle’s article “The digital kids who are driving their parents crazy” addresses children’s digital behaviours and the “need to unplug”.

    A letter “We survived today – will we tomorrow?” describes a driver’s near-miss experience as a result of another driver irresponsibly using a mobile phone.Political columnist Michael Moore’s article in the same issue notes that while the ACT should be a showcase of educational excellence, our students are falling behind.

    One thing that would help student learning and social outcomes I believe is a ban on mobile phones and other digital devices during school hours, except those used for educational purposes.Smartphones are highly addictive and distracting. Four states have already, or are currently implementing bans, namely NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and WA. Such a policy improves student health and well-being, greatly reduces distraction, and improves social interaction between students.

    Why does the ACT still have its head in the sand on this issue? Murray May, Cook ACT

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    • 06 FEB 20

    The pitfalls of social media and technology

    Social media and the internet has rewired our brains and society in important yet sometimes worrying ways, writes Dali Sulejmani-Blackwell.SOCIAL MEDIA, also known as the “participative internet”, has grown rapidly in the 21st Century, creating a digitally-conscious world. It’s rare to have dinner with a friend or family member where there isn’t a phone on the table next to your food. Is this our fault, or is it a by-product of a digital world that has changed social mores?…SNIP

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    • 31 MAY 19

    Another take on Smart phone addiction: health tracking apps can trigger a nocebo effect.

    We all have read and heard about the increasing problem of cell phone addiction but here is another take on the problem. People getting so addicted to health fitness trackers that it becomes an obsessive preoccupation triggering the nocebo effect. To quote from the article:
    “For Golden, a 38-year-old patient advocate who began with an Excel spreadsheet and later used specialized apps, tracking initially helped her provide better information to her doctor. But she became focused on every possible factor that could make her headache worse. “I’ve seen people become very obsessed with it. I was at one point,” she says. “What did I do at lunch? What did I do at dinner? It can be all-consuming.” The symptom tracker doesn’t just reveal your highs and lows. It produces a state of anxiety–and possibly more pain”…AND… “Kelly Baron, a clinical psychologist and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine program at the University of Utah, saw potential in using devices to coax people into better sleep habits. But then she began to see patients whose sleep issues seemed to stem from the trackers.” …SNIP

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    • 07 MAR 19

    New Study: How does screen time affect grades?

    From Daniel Je

    January 7, 2019

    What effects can phone screen time have on students? At first glance, it may seem harmless but when we decided to take a closer look, we found a strong correlation between too much phone time and lower grades.

    With 95% of Americans owning a cell phone of some kind and actually 77% of them owning a smartphone (according to pewinternet), the topic of phone time and its potential effects comes into question.

    So, we asked undergraduate university/college students what their daily phone screen time was the last 7 days and their current grade to see if there could be any correlation between them…SNIP

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    • 08 NOV 18

    How the Tech Industry Uses Psychology to Hook Children

    From Psychology Today
    How the Tech Industry Uses Psychology to Hook Children
    Why do kids struggle to look up from devices? The answer is persuasive design.

    Posted Oct 24, 2018 Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D.,

    This guest post is written by Richard Freed, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age, and Meghan Owenz, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor at Penn State University and founder of ScreenFreeParenting.com.

    “Something’s wrong with my son. He won’t spend time with us, won’t do his homework… all he wants to do is be in his room and play his game.”

    Parents, educators, and health professionals around the world are expressing frustration and alarm that children are being lost to video games, social media, and phones. What’s vital to understand is that children’s fixation with gadgets and entertainment applications is by design. Actually, a relatively new concept called persuasive design.

    Persuasive design has been in the news a lot recently. Put simply, persuasive design is the practice of combining psychology and technology to change people’s behavior. Gadgets and applications are developed by psychologists and other user experience (UX) researchers who apply behavioral change techniques to manipulate users. The concept can sound scary, however, these techniques can be used to encourage positive behaviors, such as exercise, healthy eating, and smoking cessation…SNIP

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    • 24 JAN 18

    Prolonged phone usage linked to depression among youngsters, Study finds

    From George P

    January 23, 2018

    From News Medical, an online, open-access medical information provider for healthcare professionals, medical researchers and engaged consumers.

    New research conducted at San Diego State University has shown the relationship between adolescent life satisfaction and screen time.


    The study, published in the journal Emotion, found that Teenagers who are constantly glued to their smartphones are significantly less happy.

    In order to explore this association, investigators analyzed data from the Monitoring the Future (MtF) longitudinal study–a nationwide representative survey comprising millions of U.S. 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders.

    In this survey, the students were asked to answer a questionnaire about the total time spent on their mobiles, computers, and tablets, as well as their direct social interactions and their happiness in general.

    On average, it was found that teenagers who spent an excessive amount of time on screen devices (using social media, playing computer games, video chatting, and messaging) exhibited lower levels of happiness than teenagers who spent more time engaging in non-screen activities such as reading magazines and newspapers, sports, and direct social interactions. SNIP

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    • 10 JAN 18

    CNBC coverage of Iphone addiction issue

    APPLE CNBC: video 3 minutes – Scott Galloway compares what would happen if a popsicle caused the same addiction as a cellphone, regulation is long overdue

    Apple Isn’t Who We Should Be Worried About: Roger McNamee On Smartphone Addiction | CNBC Published on Jan 8, 2018

    Roger McNamee, Elevation Partners, and Scott Galloway, NYU Stern School of Business, weigh in on Apple’s responsibility to combat iPhone addiction in children following an open letter to the company from shareholders at Jana Partners and CalSTRS. SNIP…

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    • 09 JAN 18

    iPhones and Children Are a Toxic Pair, Say Two Big Apple Investors

    From the Wall Street Journal

    Two activist shareholders want Apple to develop tools and research effects on young people of smartphone overuse and addiction. The iPhone has made Apple Inc. and Wall Street hundreds of billions of dollars. Now some big shareholders are asking at what cost, in an unusual campaign to make the company more socially responsible. A leading activist investor and a pension fund are saying the smartphone maker needs to respond to what some see as a growing public-health crisis of youth phone addiction. SNIP

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    • 02 DEC 17

    Scientists Find That Smartphone Addiction Alters Your Brain Chemistry

    Posted on Futurism


    Scientists Find That Smartphone Addiction Alters Your Brain Chemistry

    Many of us find it difficult to go even a few hours without looking at our smartphone or accessing the internet. Now, a new study has found that addiction to these technologies might cause a chemical imbalance in the brain.

    Life Out of Balance: Smartphones et al.

    A study presented at the 2017 meeting of the Radiological Society of North America has found that young people who are addicted to smartphone usage display an imbalance in their brain chemistry.

    A group of researchers from Seoul’s Korea University carried out the study, which was led by neuroradiology professor Hyung Suk Seo. They used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to investigate the chemical composition of teenagers who had been diagnosed as having an addition to their smartphones or the internet.

    Nineteen youths – nine male and ten female with a mean age of fifteen and a half – were compared with healthy control subjects of the same gender. Twelve of the group received cognitive behavioral therapy, based on a similar program designed to help people addicted to video games. SNIP

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    • 30 NOV 17

    How evil is tech?


    Not long ago, tech was the coolest industry. Everybody wanted to work at Google, Facebook and Apple. But over the past year the mood has shifted.

    Some now believe tech is like the tobacco industry — corporations that make billions of dollars peddling a destructive addiction. Some believe it is like American gridiron – something millions of people love, but which everybody knows leaves a trail of human wreckage in its wake.

    Surely the people in tech — who generally want to make the world a better place — don’t want to go down this road. It will be interesting to see if they can take the actions necessary to prevent their companies from becoming social pariahs…SNIP…The second critique of the tech industry is that it is causing this addiction on purpose, to make money. Tech companies understand what causes dopamine surges in the brain and they lace their products with “hijacking techniques” that lure us in and create “compulsion loops.” SNIP…

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    • 02 SEP 17


    Excerpt: Israeli rocker Shalom Hanoch was at his best. Performing in an intimate concert at the state-of-the-art theater at the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel in Zichron Ya’acov, Hanoch crooned for over two hours, reinterpreting 50 years of hits on acoustic guitar with just Moshe Levi on piano accompanying him. At 71 years old, Hanoch is a bundle of white-haired, lean-bodied energy. The audience, who’d paid top shekel, should have been sitting, clapping or dancing in appreciative reverence. Instead, the darkened concert space was awash in a sea of light.

    People were on their phones. In the row in front of me I could see one person checking her email, another WhatsApping with his kids, a third flipping through Facebook and reading the latest news on the Bibi bribery crisis. The man to my left gripped his phone ferociously throughout the concert. He checked his screen every few seconds to see if he’d received a new message, and seemed compelled to respond to messages immediately. SNIP

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    • 14 AUG 17

    Are smartphones causing unhealthy teenage isolation?

    Today’s teenagers are known for spending hours on end holed-up in their bedrooms scrolling through Instagram feeds and snapchatting with their friends.

    Professor Jean Twenge from San Diego State University says there has been an abrupt shift in teen behaviours since 2012 and believes young people are on the brink of the worst mental health crisis in decades.

    Her new book, “IGEN: Why Today’s Super-Connected kids are growing up less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy — and completely unprepared for Adulthood” explores the changing world of teenagers. SNIP

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    • 02 MAY 17

    Admit it, mums and dads, you’re addicted


    From the Canberra Times

    Admit it, mums and dads, you’re addicted

    Allison Pearson

    My name is Allison and I’m an addict. There, I’ve said it. If I’m honest, the symptoms have been evident for some time. Tell-tale irritability, even anger, if I couldn’t get my hands on my drug. It was the first thing I reached for when I woke up and the last before I fell asleep. Then, over the Easter weekend, things came to a head.

    Himself and I had gone to see A Quiet Passion, a film about the poet Emily Dickinson. I love Dickinson’s poetry so why wasn’t I enjoying the movie more? OK, Terence Davies isn’t a director to throw in a car chase when the camera can dwell lovingly on a begonia or a recently expired corpse. Scenes set in the Dickinson family’s parlour in Massachusetts were as solemn and airless as they would have been in 1880, although Cynthia Nixon gives a performance of furious incandescence as the thwarted poet. She wasn’t the only one who was frustrated. Around us in the cinema little windows of light started to open. People were checking their phones. I just about contained the urge to join them. SNIP…

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    • 21 MAR 16

    The Sydney Morning Herald on smart phone addiction

    Smartphones are ruling our lives and killing our imaginations

    March 18, 2016
    Kim Arlington


    It wasn’t too long ago that smartphones were a novelty, something the ardent tech-heads would queue up in the street to buy. But now we must go to the ends of the earth to escape them.

    When Suzie Blackwell hiked through the mountains of Patagonia, she stayed at a camp with no Wi-Fi. “It was really noticeable how friendly people were,” she says. “Everyone was very open and approachable, and really engaged when you sat down and talked.”

    Blackwell, who uses a work mobile as well as her own smartphone at home in Sydney, found it liberating. With no prospect of connecting to the internet, people made personal connections the priority.

    Since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have saturated society. More than 80 per cent of Australians have one; only 4 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds don’t.

    We use them to email, take photos, check social media, listen to music, surf the internet, find directions, watch movies. We even use our smartphones to use our smartphones less, installing apps that monitor and limit our activity….. The pressure to be constantly available and responsive on social media can cause depression, anxiety and decrease sleep quality for teenagers, according to University of Glasgow researchers.

    It’s not just teens feeling that way. Thirty per cent of those surveyed for the latest EY Digital Australia: State of the Nation report said their smartphone or tablet negatively affected their sleep or stress. Thirty-one per cent felt “addicted” to their device – a figure that rose to 46 per cent among 18 to 34-year-olds. They are a major contributor to the breakdown of the work/life divide; one study found working from smartphones and tablets adds two hours to the average working day.

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    • 21 MAR 16

    ABC’s The Weekly on smart phone addiction.

    The ABC’s The Weekly satirical news program has done a segment on smart phone addiction. This is well worth a look. It starts about halfway in the program.


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    • 29 AUG 15

    Nomopobia: fear of being without your mobile phone: a quiz

    Posted on August 26, 2015 by Stone Hearth News

    Newswise – AMES, Iowa – If you’re wondering how to respond to that question, an Iowa State University study can help you find the answer. ISU researchers have developed a questionnaire to help you determine if you suffer from nomophobia or a fear of being without your mobile phone.

    Caglar Yildirim, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in human computer interaction, and Ana-Paula Correia, an associate professor in ISU’s School of Education, identified four dimensions of this modern-day phobia. The study was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.Watch this video to learn more about nomophobia and then answer the questions below to see if you are nomophobic.

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    • 14 NOV 14

    Japan’s smartphone ‘zombies’ wreak havoc on the streets


    Tokyo (AFP) – When the lights change at the Shibuya crossing in Japan’s capital, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfares, hundreds of people with their eyes glued to smartphones pick their way over the road. Despite being engrossed in the latest instalment of Candy Crush or busy chatting with their friends on messaging app Line, most manage to weave around cyclists, skateboarders and fellow Tokyoites.But the growing ranks of these cellphone addicts are turning cities like Tokyo, London, New York and Hong Kong into increasingly hazardous hotspots, where zombified shoppers appear to be part of vast games of human pinbal

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