The Real Reason iPhone and iPad Should be Banned

The Real Reason iPhone and iPad Should be Banned

The Obama administration recently blocked the United States Trade Commission’s attempt to ban the sale of certain Apple products. The original measure was instigated by Apple’s rival Samsung over a patent issue. While the attempt to ban the sale of iPhone and iPad has been blocked, there is another reason besides patent infringement to ban such devices and all similar gadgets. The real reason iPhone and iPad should be banned is because they create a large host of mental and emotional problems in human beings. They are dangerously addictive, destroy kids’ ability to think critically, reduce social skills in children, and can potentially cause brain damage.

For years, physicians and psychologists have been warning of the destructive nature of electronic gadgets, especially when it comes to the potential those gadgets carry for extreme addiction. While the United States has been rather slow on the uptake with regard to realizing the addictive nature of electronics, many major cities in Asia have already set up in-person rehabilitation centers to deal with the ever-increasing dangers of technology addiction. Thus far, in the United States, there are one or two outpatient treatment facilities to help patients cope with internet and device addiction, but the existence of such establishments is little-known and the very idea of technology addiction is often ridiculed by self-described “technology evangelists.”

However, the fact that electronic gadgets such as the iPhone and iPad are highly addictive has been proven without a doubt by a growing body of evidence, including peer-reviewed studies. Scientists and medical professionals have been wise to the phenomenon of technology addiction for at least five years, but approaching the topic with gadget-obsessed Americans often turns from an intellectual discussion of this ever-expanding problem into a free-for-all of ridicule against people who want to initiate such a discussion.

Americans addicted to electronic gadgets are no different from heroin addicts; trying to stage an intervention with them often degenerates into baseless name-calling and ad hominem attacks as they continue to remain in denial about their problem and instead disparage the person trying to help. Getting a technology addict to admit a problem with gadgets is next to impossible. Try it, and you’ll be labeled a “Luddite,” “idiotic,” “old fashioned,” “an out of touch dinosaur,” and worse. While the tech addict is busy personally putting you down, another teenager has died in a texting-while-driving incident. Denial is a powerful deterrent to addressing life-threatening societal dangers.

Besides being very addictive, iPhones and iPads also have the potential to cause brain damage in children. Of course, parents don’t want to hear this, because it would mean they would have to pay more attention to their own offspring instead of sitting them, slack-jawed and drooling, in front of screens. If it keeps the kids quiet, parents are not going to give it up, no matter what the dangers.

Despite a robust body of research linking screens to brain damage, the mere suggestion of this truth invites scorn and even outrage from people who are terrified they might have to start interacting with their kids more frequently or that they will have to reduce the time they spend wasting on frivolous pursuits such as making modern photographs look vintage. (Isn’t here a certain irony in such a task?)

Besides addiction and brain damage, screens also cause an enormous list of other developmental problems, such as lack of self-esteem, the loss of critical thinking skills and the complete destruction of social skills like having real-life conversations and making eye contact.

These are the real reasons why gadgets like the iPhone and iPad should be banned, but of course, that will never happen. As long as Silicon Valley is making billions and parents can keep their kids quiet, any reference to reducing or eliminating electronic gadgets will be met with resistance and ridicule.

By: Rebecca Savastio

(Op-ed)

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24 Responses to "The Real Reason iPhone and iPad Should be Banned"

  1. BS   May 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    People are idiots. Addicted to your iPad? Please leave the planet.

    Reply
  2. Jerry   October 20, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Today reports of a Chinese couple selling their baby for an Iphone was on the news, also a few months ago some kid sold his kidney for an Iphone!. If these are not grounds for banning Iphone i don’t know what is.. I mean we all have heard scary stories about what lengths people are willing to go to get Drugs.

    Reply
  3. Rebecca Savastio   August 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I guess most of the people commenting missed the list of studies I placed here in the comments section. You all might enjoy my other article on social media use making people dumb, depressed, rude and envious, according to studies: http://guardianlv.com/2013/08/social-media-makes-us-dumb-depressed-rude-and-envious-say-studies/

    Reply
  4. Withheld by request   August 5, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I have been addicted for almost 30 years. It is hard to admit because I became a software engineer in order to mask it. I am trying to justify my current iPad use, but I easily spend 14 hours a day, reading reddit, playing games, reading and re-reading news, watching videos, you name it.

    Reply
  5. John   August 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    So much BS and stupidity.

    Reply
  6. David   August 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Seems you are missing the point guys

    “from people who are terrified they might have to start interacting with their kids more frequently or that they will have to reduce the time they spend wasting on frivolous pursuits “

    Reply
  7. Virrtual 2013   August 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    This lady is off her rocker. It’s true that people have now taken an interest in technology more than they ever have before, but it’s only because it has become easier. We agree that some people out there are glued to their tablets and should seek therapy, but if you think that is the reason for the ban, you have been misinformed Rebecca. This ban is because of, SEPs (also known as patents licensed under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms) versus general software patents, as it pertains to standards ethics and patent lawsuits in general. You need to stay focused Rebecca on the real issue that started this ban and not the voices in your head that create their own scenarios. It’s been in talks for some time now. Apple has a lot of devices that run on 3g and causes an unfair balance for competition in the market for newer companies or companies that can’t comply with the 3G CDMA standard. If you want to start a discussion on addiction to technology go ahead, but don’t shirt-tail off of another story to give your merit. Geez Louise Rebecca, have some professionalism.

    Reply
  8. Matt Madison   August 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Reading insane rants by freelance writers is far more dangerous to your mental health than using iPhones and iPads.

    Reply
  9. etrigan   August 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I swear that after reading the first paragraph, I thought I was on The Onion. Some things are too stupid to even spend time ridiculing. They invite ridicule merely by existing.

    Reply
  10. Sidki Muwallif   August 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Why single out Apple, you could have said “cell phones and tablets”?

    Reply
  11. Ray McBain   August 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Nutcase lady strikes again! Stupid people jump to stupid conclusions. And why did she leave out the myriad Android devices? Payoff?

    Reply
  12. Dude45   August 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Apple products should be banned because of Apples sick abuse of the patenting system, bottom line

    Reply
  13. Zipping   August 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    If I were APPLE, I would sue this author. This is more than a biased opinion with no real scientific proof or evidence to sustain her point; this is slander.

    Reply
  14. Kirk Barrett   August 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    The reason that you are being called a luddite and a crackpot here, Rebecca, is because you have taken these studies and jumped straight to an outright call for a ban on these items. Some of the references you have provided are interesting and do look like they merit discussion and thought, (other less so,) but there is absolutely nothing there that even remotely justifies a government enforced ban on this technology. Jumping straight to, “Ban iPhones an iPads!” makes you look like a knee jerk activist with an axe to grind, not a journalist.

    Reply
  15. Eric S. (@InspiredCode)   August 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    This lady is nuts. The iPad and iPhone are tools. Nothing more. Just like shoes. I don’t say shoes are addictive because you wear them everyday.

    Reply
  16. Deavman   August 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Obviously the author of this garbage has no foot to stand on and if anything has personal issues to resolve with her relationship with technology. Parents need to be more involved with their children,they need to set boundaries. Many apps are available and enable parents to limit tablet or phone daily usage to reasonable values. The opinion above brings nothings to the table but instead erroneously places the blame on the tools instead of the user.

    Reply
  17. Carl   August 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Wow. Moral panic anyone?

    100 years ago, telephones were going to make people socially inept.

    50 years ago kids were going to go blind by sitting too close to the TV.

    I bet in 50 years, cyborg implants will make people emotionless sociopaths.

    But arguing about the absurdity of the claims is irrelevant since it’ll take a significant energy crisis (peak oil?) to make our society backtrack on technology. In the mean time you can get a few pageviews with the clickbait moral outrage.

    Reply
  18. Rebecca Savastio   August 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    @Fannysyouraunt: Did you see the list of studies I placed here in the comments section? Generally the tin-foil hat wearing crowd consists of those who deny science, not the other way around.

    Reply
  19. Patrick   August 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    It strikes me as ironic that this anti-iPhone-iPad piece was published in a format meant to be read on iPhones and iPads.

    Reply
  20. Fannysyouraunt   August 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Just when I thought it was safe to repurpose my tin foil hat to bake a potato. They said a bunch of stuff like this about the dangers of the horseless carriage and you can see where that led.

    Reply
  21. Rebecca Savastio   August 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    @John: The two sources at the bottom mention the names of several studies. You can also see:

    Clifford Nass, Eyal Ophir and Anthony D. Wagner, “Cognitive control in media multitaskers,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106, no. 37 (2009): DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903620106

    Fuchun Lin1., Yan Zhou2., Yasong Du3., Lindi Qin2, Zhimin Zhao3, Jianrong Xu2*, Hao Lei1, Abnormal White Matter Integrity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder: A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study

    Joshua S. Rubinstein.; David E. Myer; Jeffrey E. Evans. (2001). Executive Control of Cognitive Processes in Task Switching. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27(4), 763-797

    Fang-Yi Flora Wei; Y. Ken Wang; Michael Klausner, “Rethinking College Students’ Self-Regulation and Sustained Attention: Does Text Messaging During Class Influence Cognitive Learning?,” Communication Education 61, no.3 (2012): DOI:10.1080/03634523.2012.672755

    Wilhelm Hofmann, Kathleen D. Vohs, and Roy F. Baumeister, “What People Desire, Feel Conflicted About, and Try to Resist in Everyday Life”, Psychological Science, June 2012; vol. 23, 6: pp. 582-588., first published on April 30, 2012

    That’s to start. You can find hundred of others online or at your library.

    Reply
  22. Stephen   August 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    No-it just means you need to do your own homework and look for the robust studies yourself.

    Reply
  23. Mikey   August 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    The _real_ question is what lines you want to draw legally? Alcohol is dangerous but still legal. The thinking is that adults are supposed to actually take responsibility and not rely on what’s _illegal_ as a guide of what not to do. Banning iPads is an absurd overreaction – just like TV, parenets need to be responsible for the technological usage of their children.

    Reply
  24. John DeNard   August 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Without a link to or information on these “robusts studies,” they remain myth.

    Reply

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