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March 26, 2019
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I spend a fair bit of time Monday to Friday on my laptop and  checking or reading from my phone. The phone use has increased significantly since I got a decent smartphone last year; there are always personal messages to read, the tempting Facebook newsfeed to sample, and one can never be up-to-date enough with developments on the breaking news stories. On the other hand, I lived more than half my life without digital technology and was at least 15 before I sat in front of a television set. 

Today's "digital natives", however, are virtually cutting their teeth on smartphones and tablets, and by their teens are spending many hours on their screens. San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge (pronounced, I believe, like "twenty" but with a "g" in place of the second "t") is making a name for herself with research about the effects of this trend. We have more results from her and her colleagues today, and the news -- as you can see from the heading below -- is not good. It seems to me to sync with frequent headlines about a mental health crisis among young people. Tell us your impressions.

Mind you, the adult world has plenty of mental issues of its own, thanks to rampant subjectivism. Take a look at Michael Cook's update on the case of the 69-year-old Dutchman who applied to have his age changed to 49, and who is supporting him.

Two interesting population stories today -- one from Bulgaria, about the death of a village, and the other a front page video about a Ukrainian village which is very much alive.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,
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