Smartphones Are Bringing Us Together and Tearing Us Apart

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chances are you use email. If you’re like 88 percent of Americans, you also own a cell phone. And if you’re among the well-connected 46 percent, you check your email ON your cell phone. Of course, even if you don’t use a smartphone, it’s likely that you own a home computer or an iPad or some other device that keeps you connected to email and the online world and, in turn, to work and social networks and everyone who wants to be in touch with you at any given time. All of this can make us feel more connected. But it can also make us less connected to those who are sitting right next to us. And it can be addictive.

Daniel Sieberg has thought a lot about how to deal with the electronic addiction that many of us have willingly taken on. He’s the author of "The Digital Diet: A Four Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life." Danielle is a Takeaway listener who didn’t realize just how much time she was spending on her smart phone until it broke two weeks ago. Since then, she’s been using a regular cell phone, and spending a lot more time paying attention to her family.

During this segment, John said: "We just don’t know how to be alone." That reminded us of this beautiful piece of YouTube poetry by Tanya Davis and Andrea Dorfman, How to Be Alone.


Daniel Sieberg

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [9]

Angel from Miami, FL

"You're tearing me apart!"

May. 30 2012 10:11 AM

I am fortunate that my smartphone is a personal device and that I'm not required to use it for work email, etc. It allows me to leave the office behind at the end of the work day. Frankly, I'm at a point in my life where I'd be seriously upset if I was asked to be more tethered to my job. I like my work, but I don't live for it.

Apr. 19 2012 06:33 AM
Lisa Darling from Miami FL

Wow....what a great story....Its so unreal how we're HOOKED on our smartphones....Myself including...thanks for the tips!!!

Apr. 18 2012 03:50 PM
R D Harmony from oklahoma city

I'm horrified to see so many people 'looking down' while driving or stopped at traffic lights. Their peripheral vision and awareness is absolutely diminished. I will not join their addiction. Text capacity is the upper limit for my phone--internet research can wait (Oh, and it does not bother me to leave the phone at home)

Apr. 18 2012 10:51 AM
"Josh" from PA

When I'm home I turn off the auto-syncing to my work email. I may get email from work, but I'll never know until morning.

Apr. 18 2012 09:22 AM
"Unknown author" via SMS

Sure have. Smart phones invade every part of my time off including vacations

Apr. 17 2012 04:33 PM
"Unknown author" via SMS

I often want to go back to a dumb phone, but then it would be much harder to find a cribbage opponent

Apr. 17 2012 03:18 PM
David Evans, via Facebook

I use this amazing device on the phone... the "off" button.

Apr. 17 2012 02:00 PM
John Wheeler, via Facebook

battery charger in the car, not in the wall outlet...

Apr. 17 2012 01:00 PM

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