NYT: What’s the solution for being on our phones too much?
Brian Chen: I think that people need to recognize that they do have a problem. They need to take control of their digital lifestyle. For example, I have started to turn my phone off when I’m at dinner or a bar with friends so that I can be courteous to them.
NYT: Do smartphone makers have a responsibly to solve this problem too?
BC:In the book, I do urge manufacturers to be sensitive to the behavior they have enabled with these devices. I ask that these companies make tools that can help people regulate themselves and curb those addictive tendencies. An example: parents should have the ability to disable their kids’ cell phones at dinnertime.
NYT: How long do you think it will be before society comes up with digital boundaries?
BC: I’m optimistic. I give it maybe two more years before we find the right balance. We’ll start to see more studies about addictions and digital devices in that time too.