This very thoughtful opinion piece by my fellow tutor-blogger Kevin Seah could not be more relevant to the kids of today — Generation Z or the Millennial Generation. As a member of Gen X (I am in my 40s), I never cease to be astounded by the smartphone or what I call my “pocket monster”. There is more computing power in the palm of my hand now than in a computer that filled an entire room in the 1980s. You would do well to ruminate on the way you use your pocket monster, young men and ladies. It has the power to either greatly boost your academic outcomes, or ruin them. Your call.
For a few years, I’ve been affectionately referring to my smartphone as my mind-control device. Let’s all admit that almost all of us are firmly addicted to our smartphones because of the tiny spurts of dopamine (one of the “pleasure chemicals” in our brains) we get when we see our “likes” increasing, or when we read an entertaining article, or when we — once again! — match three of those colourful candies/fruits/jewels. This reward system that has been designed into our smartphones has a huge impact on our thoughts and desires, and has caused what I call a “crisis of attention” in too many of our children and a considerable number of adults as well. For some, smartphones have become parasites.
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