The Guardian

The smartphone is our era's cigarette – and just as hard to quit | Ross Barkan

This single piece of technology has obliterated the promise of the internet and corrupted human interaction
‘To venture into any public square – bus, train, doctor’s waiting room, even library – is to confront a vast majority of the human populace in thrall to devices they cannot ignore for more than a minute at a time.’ Photograph: oneinchpunch/Getty Images/iStockphoto

In the long lost year of 2011, I managed to graduate college without owning a smartphone. Even then, four years after the birth of the iPhone, I was not yet an unreasonable outlier. All my immediate friends owned flip phones. The pressure to join the future had not yet overtaken us.

We texted, we talked, and we went whole days without considering, very much, the phones in our pockets. No one dipped down every 10 seconds to tap their screens. All the small

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