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Smartphones are nothing more than poison to intelligence, personality and creativity.

19 Comments

Shinshu University President Kiyohito Yamasawa, telling 2,000 freshmen during his speech at their entrance ceremony that smartphones are making them dumb, and they should ditch them or get out of his university. (Asahi Shimbun)

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He is not wrong. Sometimes you just have to draw a line and take a stand. Good on him.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Ditch them or get out of his university?

I agree that excessive use of them makes you dumber but not for basic computer/communication usage.

It sounds like the president of the university is extremely old school.

The students are the future, not the past.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I like a guy with strong convictions. And I semi-agree with him. People have their noses pointed at their smartphones so much they miss a lot of what's actually going on around them. On the other hand, they sure come in handy when you're able to pull up a map to a hotel in a city you've never visited before, or even an app with wait-times for rides for whatever amusement park you're in, just to name a few examples of how I use mine. So they have their uses, and just like anything, their misuses as well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"A huge number of over 65s who are in positions of management, governance, and amakudari are nothing more than poison to the intelligence, personality and creativity of youngsters." - Hollis Brown 4/10/15

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Says the president of a salaryman factory.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I tend to agree with you there, Hollis.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

During the printing press revolution didn't they say something in the line of "books and education are nothing more than poison to focus, productivity, and reality".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think he couldn't be more wrong, being constantly connected to the Internet is making us smarter.

Some studies have linked smartphone usage with increased brain activity. Any students with a smartphone would have been able to check that out instantly and call BS.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I just read a story suggesting smartphone users develop the tactile acuity of concert pianists. Then I read one that says smartphone users are prone to make more intuitive decisions "from the gut" and have lower cognitive skills than more analytical thinkers who don't use them. You can find both of those articles using a smartphone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, but what about being informed? For some of us busy people with real jobs (unlike academic types), looking at news on a smart phone while riding in a taxi between clients is the only time we can get informed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

More to the story than JT reports. Chancellor Yamasawa: "Stop using smartphones or withdraw from the university", immediately followed by "Switch off your smartphone, read books, talk with your friends, and think for yourselves." Makes for a less sexy quotation, the latter bit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

my vision has gotten markedly worse since I got a smartphone, but it is hard to break the addiction. the mind needs the constant hit of stimulation from khardashian news from yahoo news,,,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Research on technological tools would suggest that offloading our mental functions to the smartphone could cause our brains to go soft. A simple example is with a smartphone you no longer have to remember important facts because when in doubt, you can tap into Google. So no mental gymnastics is necessary. On the other hand a smartphone has the potential to make our brain sharper, not dumber. A video-game player involving rapid decision making can hone your cognitive resources and older adults, in particular are able to improve their attention and decision-making speeded task performance when they play certain games. In the end the problem is not the use of smartphones, itself. The problem comes when the smartphone takes over a function that your brain is perfectly capable of performing. Hence your brain muscle doesn't get a work out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'Smartphones are nothing more than poison to intelligence, personality and creativity.'

Just wait till they start working at a Japanese company. Playing candy crush is like reading Kant compared to that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like most things it is all about how and how much you use it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I seldom read books and my social life is next to none. So I do know where he is coming from and no I do not have a smartphone by the way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah smartphones are useless and stifle creativity... oh wait, I was awarded a placing in a gallery for a photo I took with my smartphone. How strange.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

From what I have seen, the main goal of daigaku is to intelligence, personality and creativity. So, if they use smartphones for the same result, they can cut costs by delivering the degree after a set number of phone usage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Smartphones are nothing more than poison to intelligence, personality and creativity."

"If God had meant us to fly, he'd have given us wings!"

"No one will ever need more than 640k of memory!" (Bill Gates)

It seems that each generation produces its own crass statements like these.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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