Don’t panic: Why digital distraction isn’t the problem you think it is

Radio, TV, rock ’n’ roll, video nasties and social media: all have been the subject of tech-themed moral panics in the past hundred years. And they all share one other thing – there was and is no evidence they’re damaging society

As things stand, there is very little evidence to support any kind of direct negative impact from smart technology. Picture: Getty

Are you concerned about your smartphone use? Do you ‘doomscroll’ late into the night, ruining your sleep and making the next day more difficult than it needs to be? If so, you’re not alone.

Many people report having problematic relationships with personal technology. They feel their attention spans are shortening and that social media in particular encourages negative personality traits, promoting outrage and rewarding online aggression.

Some go as far as saying personal technology is ...