158. Champions of mobile time wasting

Writing the other day on the beauty of chess got me thinking about the risks of digital technologies to our new generations. It is not unusual for teenagers to rack up screen times of between 3 and 5 hours on their mobile devices, as a consequence of the addictiveness built by design into many of the apps they use. Before smart devices (more on this name later), this time would have been spent on pastimes such as chess, reading books or playing outdoor games, probably in a more haphazard and less dedicated fashion. Just imagine what a cumulative 3 to 5 hours per day of practice of any of these disciplines would create, chess grandmasters, erudite thinkers and elite athletes. We risk swapping those for champions in the dumb use of smart devices, with overdeveloped thumbs and passive brains. This may not be catastrophic to our future as a species, as we over time outsource complex thinking and problem solving to machines, but it does not strike me as an evolutionary step 

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