As I was leaving a downtown meeting yesterday, I saw a women running a hot dog cart. That in and of itself wasn’t interesting but what caught my eye was that she was intently checking her smartphone, oblivious to the hustle and bustle around her.

It got me thinking about what life was like before smartphones? How did we fill in the small gaps between meetings, during coffee breaks or lunch, waiting in line-ups for groceries or movies, commuting or stuck in traffic?

Today, many people instantly reach for their smartphones to check e-mail, watch videos, surf the Web or play games. While these devices are terrific, what’s been lost in the process? Are we reading fewer newspapers? Are we reading fewer newspapers? Are we spending less think time just thinking with no distractions?

There is a price to be paid for using a smartphone because the time it consumes means that something else has to give. For the gains they offer, there is also a balancing loss.

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