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Watch Louis C.K. explain why he hates smartphones
"You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die."
 

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."

 
Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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