Opinion: We don’t need to do a study to confirm what we already know: Smartphones are really bad for us

A child plays with a smartphone while riding the subway in New York.
(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

To the editor: Perhaps “The death of common sense” would have been a better headline for the Jan. 8 article, “Apple should study how iPhone use might hurt kids, two big investors say.”

Why do we need a study to tell us what our eyes are already saying, that these phones are destructive, and not just to kids? Look around: Every restaurant has people shoveling food into their mouths with one hand on their phones. The movie theaters. The markets. Sporting events. Driving. No wonder there is little traffic in the malls anymore.

And the kids? How about the family I saw eating recently, where Mom and her three daughters each had her own device? There was zero family interaction.


We don’t need to spend money on studies to tell us what we already know about smartphones. There are advantages to more capable technology, but there are plenty of disadvantages, too, and everybody already knows these devices in particular have gross disadvantages.

Cindy J. Lewis, Thousand Oaks


To the editor: We know these phones may cause psychological and behavioral problems, but what about the physical effects?

According to a study coauthored by Cedars-Sinai spinal neurosurgeon Dr. Todd Lanman, the normal curve of the neck in many people is being reversed due to prolonged poor posture from looking down while using cellphones.

Certainly it would be ideal for Apple and other smartphone makers to include software a parent can use to limit usage. However, the main responsibility falls on the parent. How often does one see a family at a restaurant with everyone at the table (parents and children) scrolling on their phones?

Look at the photo accompanying the article: You see a very young child with a smartphone, and the adults are certainly not interacting with the child. What’s different is that most of the time, the parents are also on their phones.


Is the real problem with smartphone makers or with parents who are too busy on their cellphones to engage with their children?

David and Carol Powell, Encino

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