Smartphones & Tablets

Smartphones, Tablets and How Social Media Hijacks Our Minds

It’s no news that the use of smartphones and tablets has been found to be detrimental for the usual brain development of children. Recent studies, however, have shown that the exaggerated use of smartphones is causing damage in adults too. One of the most serious effects of smartphone abuse is social retardation, which has grave repercussions across a wide spectrum of behaviors.

But wait, there’s more. The “hardware” side of the problem is further compounded by the software that we use. According to Tristan Harris, a former Google product manager, our minds are being hijacked by social media (and other similar online products).

The smartphone is not only made to capture our attention, but also to encourage changes in how our brain works (neuroplasticity plays a huge role in this). As a result of these changes, our attention is easier to capture and once baited, it can be manipulated so that it doesn’t escape the trap. It wouldn’t be so bad if our attention and time would be invested in something useful, but many times this is not the case.

Project Ara

Why Google Did Away with Project Ara

Project Ara was an ambitious venture to create a modular smartphone, featuring upgradeable components. And when I say ambitious, boy was it a moon shot.

It’s one thing to upgrade components in a desktop computer or a car, but the smaller the device, the trickier it is to engineer efficient connections between components whose bandwidth requirements and standards of communication vary wildly. Even notebook manufacturers struggle with this limitation as they attempt to engineer ever-thinner devices.