time healthfor more, visit time health.it’s difficult to overstate the awesome, world-changing power of the smartphone. the sum total of human knowledge now fits in your pocket, and it comes bundled with easy access to all of your favorite people, music and photographs.no one questions a smartphone’s usefulness when it’s used judiciously. but many are now wondering whether the device’s ability to grab and stranglehold our attention with an endless stream of distractions may be causing more harm than good.“the little wobble of the emoticon, or the a-flat ding that stimulates the brain’s reward centers—these are designed to maximize people’s desire to stay on their devices,” says dr. brian primack, a professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of the center for research on media, technology, and health at the university of pittsburgh.many popular phone-based games and social media apps employ teams of engineers and designers whose ultimate goal is to ensure you stay glued to your device 24/7, primack says. at this point, most of us reach for our smartphones automatically — not just when life presents us with some urgent need to do so. “i think it may be highly aspirational for some people to use smartphones simply as tools,” he says.time health newsletterget the latest health and science news, plus: burning questions and expert tips. view sample sign up now but what’s wrong with spending all day on a smartphone? the evidence is debated, but a gro...