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Scientific American: No Consensus on Smartphones’ Effect on Teen Brains

Others continue to wonder why teens seem comparatively fragile

Scientific American has put out an e-book Your Brain in the Smartphone Age, trying to make sense of the science around teenagers’ smartphone use (boon or bane?). According to their experts, research has not come to a consensus so it all depends:

Because the teen brain is at a malleable stage, one fear is that replacing face-to-face interactions will impair the development of social and emotional skills. Despite some recent headlines, no clear links have been established between cognitive and social issues and device usage. As Pogue summarizes in “The Touch Screen Generation,” research into the effects of tablet and smartphone use is relatively new and without consensus. (Kindle Locations 42-45)…

Bane or boon, change is unceasing, and different does not necessarily mean worse – despite the fears of the “cluck-cluckers.” Smartphones likely won’t create a generation of antisocial misfits any more than television spawned one of lower intelligence. (Kindle Locations 61-63). Scientific American.

Lisa Pallatroni, “Introduction: TV, Smartphones and the Risk of Brain Rot” at Scientific American

Maybe. We recommend these three items as well, for alternative context and background:

See also: Smartphone 10 Conversation 0 We need to be more honest about the addictive nature of the device, for some. Sherry Turkle, an MIT social scientist who has spent thirty years studying people’s relationships with technology, finds that the immediacy of the digital culture is exacting a steep toll.

Maybe iGen really is fragile. id social media’s trolls’ frenzies trigger the campus war on ideas? What happens when orcs burst suddenly through the virtual gate?

and

Quell the cell and the kids do well? That sounds simplistic but it worked at a girls’ school in New Zealand A small New Zealand boarding school for Maori girls has shown that wealth and color are not necessarily decisive factors in academic achievement. High goals, discipline and, perhaps most critically, a ban on cellphones, have seen St Joseph’s Maori Girls College reach the top 10 for University Entrance in this year’s high-school league tables, the NZ Herald reports.


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Scientific American: No Consensus on Smartphones’ Effect on Teen Brains