Digital Distraction


I wanted to share with you a new that I read this weekend from The Globe And Mail: 

It is about how smartphones have changed the way our brain works, how it has been influencing our way to communicate and to access media. Family interaction is affected starting from breastfeeding. Apps would have been designed on addiction models in dispensing dopamine. Exploiting the insecurity of the users looking for reinforcement. While we are more informed, “The average American in 2007 was absorbing the equivalent of 174 newspapers a day, via sources as wide-ranging as TV, texting and the internet – five times the amount of information they took in about two decades earlier.”, it is creating a deficit of attention and affecting IQ.

There is no legal aspect, but worth thinking about it. And see the trend… see the advertising from CommonSense #DeviceFreeDinner  (    

2 responses to “Digital Distraction”

  1. Jon Festinger

    Though the legal consequences of cellphone addiction may not be obvious, that does not mean they won’t come into existence by statutory action or judicial interpretation of already existing laws.

    Let’s look at the consequences of the following:
    1. Mobile devices “use” us as a source of information/data sold to others;
    2. That data can be used to manipulate us to do things we might not ordinarily do; and
    3. Profit is made as a result.

    In these circumstances it is hardly impossible to see various remedies springing up in consumer protection law, privacy law, unjust enrichment, constructive trusts etc.


  2. Claudio

    Thank you for sharing Laura. I think it’s important to remain vigilant to the consequences of a lot of media exposure, especially for young people who may not be as well equipped to appreciate the nature of what they’re being shown, or have less ability to defend against some of the tactics being employed against them.

    To build on your point, FB’s awareness of the negative effects of social media has recently prompted them to modify their algorithm to prioritize more social interaction as opposed to “passively reading articles or watching videos.” This article from Vice ties into our required video for next class and covers the FB changes: (

    Some of the legal implication to some of this include the prospect of continued government intervention in social media in the US (
    and Europe ( What about increased domestic regulation? (

    Will the algorithmic changes be enough to counter the ill effects of social media? Is increased government regulation best solution?

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