The Damage Of Smartphones

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- We’ve speculated quite a bit here about the impact smartphones are having on our culture. And a lot of the discussion has focused on the price we’re paying for the incredible convenience of these devices.

We’ve talked about the decline of direct human contact, and the disturbing sight of clumps of teenagers, walking down the street together, communicating through text messages instead of actually looking at and talking to one another. 

We’ve bemoaned the horrific scourge of the selfie and photos of the meal the phone owner is about to eat as if this could possibly be of interest to anyone else. 

And we’ve discussed the toll easy internet access is taking, on stores, newspapers, and the truth.

But it seems we’ve barely scratched the surface of the damage smartphones are doing to us.

According to a global study paid for by the streaming service Netflix and reported in the New York Times, “two-thirds of Americans stream movies and TV shows in public,” and for the most part, this makes perfect sense. Even your cranky correspondent likes the time-killing power of the smartphone while traveling. 

The ability to catch up on mediocre movies you would otherwise happily miss is truly a special gift to mankind.

But the Netflix study also raises some major red flags.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they watch that junk while at work, a troubling statistic even if work doesn’t involve operating heavy machinery or performing brain surgery. 

And get this – 12 percent admit to watching streaming video in a public bathroom.

Is nothing sacred? 

This used to be a place of solitude, sometimes conducive to creative thinking. 

Can an outbreak of zombie-watching Netflix in church be far behind?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m.

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