An epidemic of teenage … loneliness

New York Post - Opinion

By Karol Markowicz

Americans are lonelier than ever, and the crisis now impacts our children.

The loneliness of older people, those in the twilight of their lives, has received a great deal of ­attention in the last few years. An alarming share of Baby Boomers — one of every 11, according to The Wall Street Journal — are growing old without any family around.

Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good

New York Times

By Nellie Bowles

Screens used to be for the elite. Now avoiding them is a status symbol.

Bill Langlois has a new best friend. She is a cat named Sox. She lives on a tablet, and she makes him so happy that when he talks about her arrival in his life, he begins to cry.

The Sad State of Happiness in the United States and the Role of Digital Media

World Happiness Report

The years since 2010 have not been good ones for happiness and well-being among Americans. Even as the United States economy improved after the end of the Great Recession in 2009, happiness among adults did not rebound to the higher levels of the 1990s, continuing a slow decline ongoing since at least 2000 in the General Social Survey (Twenge et al., 2016; also see Figure 5.1).

A Mental Health Pandemic: Is the World Getting More Addicted, Anxious, and Lonely?

Medium - Positive Returns

By Erica Orange & Jared Weiner, The Future Hunters, and Eshanthi Ranasinghe, Exploration & Future Sensing, Omidyar Network

Mental health issues today have almost become pandemic. Depression and anxiety in particular are increasing rapidly, with much still clinically under- and undiagnosed. This pattern is persistent around the world. The World Economic Forum estimated that direct and indirect costs of mental health amount to over 4 percent of global GDP, more than the cost of cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease combined. This could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030, and more than $6 trillion annually after that, if a collective failure to respond is not addressed.

Addiction, Depression, and Meaningful Life

Podcast - Making Sense with Sam Harris

In this episode Sam Harris speaks with Johann Hari about his books Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections. Johann Hari is the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream, which is being adapted into a feature film. He was twice named "Newspaper Journalist of the Year" by Amnesty International UK.

Let Children Be Bored Again

New York Times

by Pamela Paul

“It's especially important that kids get bored — and be allowed to stay bored — when they're young. That it not be considered “a problem” to be avoided or eradicated by the higher-ups, but instead something kids grapple with on their own."

I decided to take a year off from social media. Here’s what I’ve learned so far

Washington Post - Opinions

By John Green

Green is the author of several novels, including “Looking for Alaska” and “Turtles All the Way Down.” This op-ed was adapted from a series of “vlogbrothers” videos on YouTube.

When my dad connected our family computer to the Internet in 1992, all I saw were green letters on a black screen. He tried to explain what was so amazing about the Internet: “You can find out what the weather is like in Beijing,” he said. “Or you can download ‘The Apology of Socrates’ for free. The entire text!”

How (And Why) to Build Some Boredom Back Into Your Life


By Clay Skipper

Remember when you were a kid and you used to say, “Mom, I’m booored,” and she’d tell you to go entertain yourself? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you weren’t as whiny as me. Or maybe you were born sometime in the last two decades(ish), and had a childhood that perpetually involved a screen. But there was a time before the iPhone (and after the Industrial Revolution, which, really, gave birth to leisure time) when we humans desperately tried to avoid the dark embrace of boredom. Having nothing to do meant spending time alone with your own thoughts. Which: Ew.

A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley

New York Times

By Nellie Bowles

A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high. The debate in Silicon Valley now is about how much exposure to phones is O.K.

What is Digital Wellness & Why Should We Care?

Thrive Global

By Jason M. Kingdon

It’s time to shut down all your phones and electronic gadgets. The thought of having to do this would most likely cause a mix of strong emotions in many people today. Today’s generation have become too dependent on all digital devices, from their smartphones to their laptops and gaming consoles. This brought the attention of mental health experts to the concept of digital health and wellness.

Digital Addiction: A Recipe For Isolation, Depression & Anxiety


By Robert Glatter, MD, Contributor Pharma & Healthcare

Smartphones have clearly become an indispensable part of our lives and society, keeping us connected and aware of minute-to-minute breaking news, weather systems, even changes in marital status of pop icons and celebrities.

Can I Let My Child Be Bored?

Psychology Today

By Nancy Colier LCSW, Rev.

Perhaps the most common question I get in all my talks to parents and families around the country is What should I do when my kid says he’s bored and I don’t want to give him the device? 

Just this week, a mom told me that her son is always asking her What’s next? I’m bored, what should I do next? This mom, like most parents these days, feels a tremendous pressure to occupy her son’s every moment, to urgently get rid of his boredom and provide him with activities to quell his what’s next? plea.

This is What Digital Addiction Looks Like


By Marguerite Darlington

Let’s say you’re having one of “those” days at work (you know the type of day I’m talking about) and you find yourself thinking, “I can’t wait to get home to my friends/partner/family so that I can be with the people that I truly care about.”

But what do you actually do when you get home? Statistics say, you probably spend most of that time on one or more of your digital devices.

How Boredom can Lead to your Most Brilliant Ideas

TED Talks

Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It's because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.

About Manoush Zomorodi

Manoush Zomorodi is the host and managing editor of Note to Self, “the tech show about being human,” from WNYC Studios. Through experiments and conversations with listeners and experts, she examines the new questions tech has brought into our lives. Topics include information overload, digital clutter, sexting “scandals" and the eavesdropping capabilities of our gadgets.

In January 2017, Manoush and Note to Self launched "The Privacy Paradox," a 5-part plan to help people take back control over their digital identity. Tens of thousands of listeners have completed the 5-part plan so far, which Fast Company calls Manoush's "challenge to us to stick up for our internet rights." Her book, Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out, explore how boredom can ignite original thinking.

The Importance of Being Bored in a Digital Age

Thrive Global

By Alec Sears

It seems that boredom has nearly reached extinction. With digital devices always in hand, we are constantly connected to news, entertainment, and social interaction without having to make extra time in our schedules. This ability to easily absorb stimulation has left us with a hypersensitivity to empty time—driving us to fill every moment with something in a desperate attempt to avoid the profound discomfort of boredom.

The case against screens in schools

New York Post

By Dr. Nicholas Kardaras

As for the notion that a screen device somehow leads to better educational outcomes, there has been a growing mountain of research indicating just the opposite. For example:

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a 2015 report that heavy users of computers in the classroom “do a lot worse in most learning outcomes.”