In our latest episode, cyborg anthropologist Amber Case says our technology is changing us into a new kind of human -- a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of Homo sapiens. Listen to her interview here: and check out the full episode, Screen Time Part 1:
  1. Cavemen had hand axes. We have smartphones.
    Our screens are just another tool in the long line of human inventions that have changed the way we live. Think of stone tools or bronze arrows or the knife. Those tools became so useful they were almost like extensions of our physical selves, almost like another limb. Same thing goes for our iPhones.
  2. “Because it's not just a phone - it's kind of a mental exoskeleton.”
    Our smartphones are the latest evolution of technology to store information outside of ourselves. We’ve had papyrus, the printing press and now smartphones and laptops. Our screens are like the most updated versions of our external brains.
  3. “[Our phones] are really a magic portal.”
    Our smartphones are also changing how we experience space and time. We can interact with digital versions of our friends and family at any time and place. Case says it’s why people check their phones at the airport or at the grocery store -- to reconnect with humanity when we’re in isolating places.
  4. Our constant output of information can connect us -- but it also takes away from self-reflection.
    Case says when you’re unplugged, that’s the time when there's a creation of self, when you can try and figure out who you really are. If we do a little more of that, then our digital personas become fuller, and more realized. In other words, there’s a balance to be struck.