Smartphones are evil and they kill people. If you didn't know that already — didn't somehow feel it deep in your bones — watch comedian Louis C.K. explain to his old boss, Conan O'Brien, why he hates smartphones, and will never, ever buy one for his daughters.
He tells O'Brien that smartphones have hurt our ability to empathize with one another. The gadgets, he says, are "toxic, especially for kids":
They look at a kid and they go, "You're fat," and then they see the kid's face scrunch up and they go, "Oh, that doesn't feel good to make a person do that." But they got to start with doing the mean thing. But when they write, "You're fat," then they just go, "Mmm, that was fun, I like that..."
Some parents really struggle with, like, "All the other kids have the terrible things, so my kid has to. Just because all the other stupid kids have phones, doesn't mean, "Oh, well, my kid has to be stupid, otherwise she'll feel weird."
Neetzan Zimmerman at Gawker notes that C.K. nails it when he goes on to talk about how smartphones are bad for grown-ups, too. People would rather text while driving — and "murder people" — than simply relax, drive, and be alone, says C.K. "While C.K. agrees that smartphones can help create a sense of community," Zimmerman says, "he believes that therein lies the problem:"
You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That's what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That's being a person. [Gawker]
Plus, there's an added bonus, says David Haglund at Slate. "His case against smartphones also includes dueling Springsteen impressions by him and Conan. The whole thing is worth watching."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- This is how the U.S. thinks China could invade Taiwan
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Can we lead spiritually fulfilling lives without religion?
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Surviving a plane crash
- Obama knows he can't really 'defeat' ISIS. Americans need to wake up to that reality, too.
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Ted Cruz and the most cynical, despicable political stunt of the year
Subscribe to the Week