A new study of girls ages 8 to 12 has suggested that those who spend more time using multimedia devices may be less happy and socially comfortable than those who are offline more. This study is only one of many discussing the benefits and drawbacks of technology, but it's inspired former Gizmodo editor Brian Lam to write a thoughtful piece about the ways in which information technology, which should be making our lives easier and better, is instead taking up our time with meaningless distractions.

Lam hasn't cut technology out of his life completely (the article is on The Wirecutter, a site that he founded and currently edits, after all), but he urges people to use new communication tools as a means to "work and read and watch faster," then use the extra time to explore the real world instead of killing time with an endless cycle of content consumption. He singles out the news media in particular for stimulating worthless clicks with content "designed to be just like junk food to quickly boost quantifiable viewership." Until tech becomes a tool rather than an opiate, he says, it stands little chance of making us happier.

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