Which Is Worse, Potatoes or Smartphones?

"The Potato Eaters," by Vincent van Gogh

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Here’s a sentence I never expected to see:

The study also found that “the association of well-being with regularly eating potatoes was nearly as negative as the association with technology use.”

Hmmm. So this means we have to control for potato eating among teens if we want to measure how smartphones affect them. I suppose we can do that.

This is all part of an article about whether smartphone use makes teens more depressed. The answer is that we don’t know. But surely we can add some anecdotal evidence to address this question. Just think back. How miserable did you feel in high school when you were being teased or bullied or just shut out from the cool kids group? Got it? Good. Now think about how you feel when the same thing happens to you today on Twitter. Which seems worse?

I have a bad memory, so I’m going to say “about the same.” How about you? Let’s do some research, people!

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We need to start raising significantly more in donations from our online community of readers, especially from those who read Mother Jones regularly but have never decided to pitch in because you figured others always will. We also need long-time and new donors, everyone, to keep showing up for us.

In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

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