Why We Need a Return to Real Life

It’s time to return to real life. I think we all feel it. Perhaps few acknowledge it because of the consequence implied by the action: get off Facebook, put down the smartphone, and get face-to-face with someone. You can’t curate your existence as you stand in front of someone. “We have become so accustomed to … Continued

Culture, Tech

The Hulford Quads Squad Goals Might Need Improvement

“Hi, we’re the Hulford Quads. We’re in 8th grade. Technology is the only thing that entertains us.” So begins Microsoft’s now ubiquitous commercial for its new tablet. The four adolescent girls, who seem lovely and sweet, tell you about all the features of the new device. But parents should listen closely to the message they … Continued


We’re Already Turning Our Robot Overlords Into Therapists

  Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep and wishing you didn’t need to wake someone else up just so you could talk about your problems? Wish no more: Yesterday, the Casper mattress company unveiled a texting bot that will see you through your dark … Continued


Signs That Your Kids Might Need Less Screen Time

Leave it to the olds to come up with the perfect experiment to shame their children about their technology use. Australian pasta sauce company Dolmios wanted to show how technology use was interrupting an important ritual (one in which the company obviously has a financial interest): family dinner time. With parents’ cooperation they filmed families … Continued


Human Ingenuity: Consider the RoadPrinter

Human ingenuity is not just about doing new things—it’s also about making it easier to do things we’ve always done. Imagine if previous civilizations had been able to make use of the RoadPrinter. Rome really would have been built in a day. Seriously, though, there are some tasks that are so tedious and so time-consuming—though … Continued


Why Brushing Your Teeth Doesn’t Need to be “Gamified”

Like every other parent in the throes of summer vacation, I wake up every morning vaguely panicked about how to meet the biggest challenge of the day ahead: how to get more screen time for my children. In between the video games and the television, the smartphones and the tablets, with the occasional Super Smash … Continued


The Kids Are Alright. It’s the Parents That Need Limits on Technology

Parents know that they are supposed to limit our children’s exposure to technology. Television, the internet, game consoles and tablets tend to suck in kids’ attention, and can discourage the type of imaginative play, free-thought, and physical exercise that we know is important for their mental and physical development. But you know who really struggles … Continued


The Virtues of Reading the Fine Print

Holiday weekends, like the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, are a good time to catch up on rest, relaxation and . . . watching that thirty-two-hour webcast of Norwegians reading aloud the terms and conditions of various apps they’ve downloaded. That’s right. Norwegian television is broadcasting a program devoted to reading the fine print on all … Continued

Culture, Tech

Teens and Technology: Too Much Too Soon?

“No phones on a walk,” I said to my 10-year-old cousin. “Is that the rule?” she asked as she put down her phone before heading out the door. “Yes, no phones on a walk is the rule.” I was making that up, of course. I had suggested that we get some fresh air and just … Continued


Is Everything About to Vanish In The Cloud?

There’s an ongoing debate about whether we should be scared of technology. Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, recently extended that question in an interesting way: Should we be afraid of what the Internet does to cultural memory? Carr makes a great argument: Because memory is not just a mental phenomenon but is also tied … Continued