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The Age of Never-Ending Internet Chats

Louis C.K.’s monologue about the downside of smartphones gets at the crux of the issue. “You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something,” he told Conan O’Brien in 2013. “That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person.” In an effort to preserve the lost art of solitary thinking, it’s now de rigueur for people to go on a digital detox by quitting social media or imposing a no-screens rule after 6 p.m.

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