Best of the Web

This week on Best of the Web we look at whether smartphones are ruining the mental health of teens, why wasting time can be a good thing, while in the news The British Journal of Photography are running their second year of Portrait of Britain and Irish photographer Niall O’Brien shares his photos of rural America. 

The Atlantic: Have smartphones destroyed a generation?


This is a long but fascinating read on what Jean M. Twenge describes as the iGen generation — young people born between 1995 and 2012 — who are experiencing higher levels of depression due to the effects of technology. Twenge examines the differences between various generations of teens to understand just what it is that makes the iGen generation so unhappy. He says, ‘All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all non-screen activities are linked to more happiness.’

Read the full story here

British Journal of Photography: Portrait of Britain returns to screens across the UK this September 


For the second year in a row the British Journal of Photography pair up with Nikon and JCDecaux to launch Portrait of Britain — one hundred portraits defining quintessential Britishness. With almost 8,000 entries in total, the chosen portraits will be displayed across shopping centres and transport stations. Themes include the resilience of the British with a photo of Grenfell Tower inhabitant Corrine only one week after the tragedy. Others show classic Britishness with portraits taken against English countrysides.

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Quartz: The psychological importance of wasting time 


Feel guilty after watching a film or spending an hour staring into space? Olivia Goldhill discusses why wasting time and being unproductive is actually good for us. Too often we berate ourselves for not spending every waking hour doing something, for example either for work or for our health. Psychologist Michael Guttridge says, ‘Wasting time is about recharging your battery and de-cluttering.’ Often we might sit at our desk and stray onto social media believing we’re multitasking, when in fact we’re just wasting more time. So, next time don’t feel guilty about doing nothing. Embrace the nothingness.

Read the full story here

SLEEK: The Irish photographer capturing the small-town charm of America’s rural communities 


It’s been done time and time again — capturing the American roadtrip, whether through literature or visuals. Irish photographer, Niall O’Brien, released a photobook earlier this year on his 4,000-mile trek across the northwest of America. In his photographs you see all the themes usually associated with the ‘American Dream’ — flags, dust, couples kissing. O’Brien’s images were taken before Donald Trump became president, yet the images are described as a ‘calm before the storm.’

Read the full story here


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