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Tech insider compares digital devices to crack cocaine

'I am convinced the devil lives in our phones,' another insider says

If you’re anything like those of us at News4Jax, you likely spend several hours a day in front of a screen of some sort. Whether it’s a laptop computer, smartphone or television, it’s easy to lose track of time with our eyes glued to digital devices.

WEIGH IN: How much time do your kids spend in front of the screen? Take our poll below.

But spending all that time checking our phones and other devices isn’t necessarily a good thing. In fact, multiple studies have shown that it does take its toll in more ways than one. Not only does it stunt our productivity, but it has also been linked to mental illness in teens.

Still, perhaps the most damning piece of evidence against digital devices is the recent consensus reached by several tech industry insiders, who told The New York Times they limit their children’s screen time because of how addictive it is.

Here's what some of them had to say:

  • "I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children," said Facebook alumnus Athena Chavarria, who now works for Mark Zuckerberg's nonprofit.
  • "On the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it's closer to crack cocaine," said former Wired editor Chris Anderson, now the CEO of a robotics company.
  • "Doing no screen time is almost easier than doing a little. If my kids do get it at all, they just want it more," said former social computing researcher Kristin Stecher.

While those are just a few of the thoughts these insiders shared with The Times, they represent a growing concern about device addiction. At the risk of suggesting you spend any more time on your phone, the newspaper's story is a compelling read.

For what it's worth, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually encourages parents to put a lid on the amount of time children spend in front of screens. Specifically, they recommend limiting children's screen time to no more than two hours a day.


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