Farhad Manjoo writing for the New York Times has a particularly silly article on “Tech addiction” and how it’s up to Apple to fix it. The Apple part is the usual Tech Press anti-Apple nonsense. Given that Apple has a relatively small share of the smart phone market, it’s hard to see why Apple—and only Apple—should be responsible for fixing it. The Macalope does his usual fine job of mocking and demolishing Manjoo’s article but I’m not interested in the Apple aspect so much as the whole idea of “tech addiction.”
The notion of tech addiction is popular among the new Luddites and we keep seeing articles about its horrors and how it’s leading to the imminent demise of our children’s mental health. As even Manjoo admits, tech addiction isn’t a real addiction like drugs or alcohol can be. So what is it? Is it even a real thing? John Gruber doesn’t think so and neither do I.
The new Luddites like to point to psychology studies that have examined the putative problem but these studies are from a field that has a reproducibility rate of less than 50%. That’s less accurate than flipping a coin. Why should we credit anything they say? It always ends up that they find that kids would rather interact with their friends on their smart phones than listen to adults talk about things they don’t care about. Do we really need psychologists to tell us that?
If you think you have a problem with using your smart phone too much, delete your Facebook and Twitter accounts. They’re only exploiting you anyway. If that doesn’t work, get rid of your smart phone or seek help. It’s not up to Apple or any other company to solve the problem for you.