smart phone

For the first time, a generation of children is going through adolescence with smartphones ever-present. Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, has a name for these young people born between 1995 and 2012: "iGen."

She says members of this generation are physically safer than those who came before them. They drink less, they learn to drive later and they're holding off on having sex. But psychologically, she argues, they are far more vulnerable.

Dynamologic Solutions/flickr

Many of the things we use every day are being labeled “smart” - as in smart phone, smart watch, smart car, smart thermostat.

Could smartphones and other screens be decreasing the human attention span? Author Adam Alter thinks so.

"Ten years ago, before the iPad and iPhone were mainstream, the average person had an attention span of about 12 seconds," Alter tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. Now, he says, "research suggests that there's been a drop from 12 to eight seconds ... shorter than the attention of the average goldfish, which is nine seconds."

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Creative Commons

Every year, Memorial Day vacationers flock to Miami Beach for a whole lot of sun, sand -- and parking stress. Just in time to help reduce some of that hair pulling, the Miami Beach Parking Department has released two smartphone apps.

ParkMe helps drivers find nearby parking, and for some locations, how full a specific deck or lot is. The other, called Parkmobile,  lets drivers to pay for parking on their smartphone.

UNICEF Tap Project

With a new app, UNICEF provides one day of clean water to a child in need for every 10 minutes spent without touching your phone.

The app ranks Florida fifth in the country for total time spent without phones. California is in first place. This correlates with a recent Nielsen study that ranked South Florida as fifth in the country in smartphone usage.

By going to tap.unicefusa.org on a smartphone and then letting the phone rest without touching it, anyone in the U.S. can donate clean water.

http://www.catherinesteineradair.com

08/26/13 - Join us for Monday’s Topical Currents.  We discuss the digital revolution in regard to parents and children. We love our screens:  be they smartphones, laptops or tablets and worlds of communication, information and games they offer. But how does this affect the new generation of children . . . and parents?

amberalert.gov, Florida Today

Right now, it’s Amber Alerts for missing children and possible emergency messages from the president.

But the fact is -- as many South Floridians found out this weekend -- the government has found a way to co-opt your smart phone for its own purposes.