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Commentary: Time to turn that iPhone off, kids

LA School Report | April 22, 2015

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By Steve Lopez | The Los Angeles Times

A rare event took place recently on a family trek across Los Angeles, when my wife and I noticed an unusual sound coming from the back seat.

Our daughter was talking to us.

It was like being in a time warp. Free, unsolicited conversation has pretty much become a thing of the past, but the girl was in a chatty mood. And then I realized why.

She didn’t have her smartphone.

There was no way for this 11-year-old social butterfly to text or Instagram. There was no music, no video and no connection to the hypnotic shower of unfiltered digital dust that coats the brain, glazes the eyes and renders captives mute.

So she spoke to her parents.

Go ahead and call me a horrible dad for letting her have the phone in the first place. I really don’t have much to say in my defense, and I definitely underestimated the addictive powers of an increasingly ubiquitous device that has transformed and often degraded how we relate to one another, adults included.

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