"The capacity for boredom is the single most important development of childhood ... children who are constantly being stimulated by what's on their phone really don't get the opportunity to look at that world, bring it in, and make something wonderful of it," Turkle said. "If you don't teach your children to be alone, they'll only know how to be lonely."
She cited a study where students were asked to sit alone without their phones for 15 minutes. There was an electroshock machine in the room as well. When asked if they would shock themselves while sitting in the room with nothing to do, the consensus was a resounding no. According to Turkle, after six minutes, a significant number of students began to shock themselves. The result of the experiment was alarming: they would rather shock themselves than sit alone.
In a sense, we're all part of an experiment, Gordhamer says. It's unclear what impact our relationship with technology will have on our brains, our attention spans or our relationships with one another.
"It's almost as if we're a bunch of frogs and we've thrown ourselves in hot water, and the water's getting hotter and hotter," Gordhamer said. "We don't know where the end of this experiment goes."
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