August 25th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Is too much technology a bad thing?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Multitasking is a way of life for millions Americans... and to many, it seems like the more technology we can squeeze into every waking moment, the better.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/25/art.txtng.jpg caption=""]
Maybe not.

The New York Times reports that digital devices and distractions - from cell phones, to laptops, iPods, e-mail and mobile games - could deprive our brains of necessary downtime.

People use phones and other electronic devices to get work done almost anywhere these days - from the gym, to the grocery store checkout line, the bus stop or a stoplight. Many see it as a way to make even the smallest window of time productive - or entertaining.

But researchers say that downtime is essential - it's a way to let the brain go over experiences it's had and turn them into long-term memories. And you can't do that if your nose is always stuck in some electronic device.

Scientists also say that even though people like multi-tasking - they might in fact be taxing their brains and tiring themselves out. Some people say they feel stressed out by the pressure to constantly stay in contact.

Meanwhile, there's a new study out that shows teens are becoming addicted to texting - with the average teen sending 3,000 texts a month.


Experts say the same part of the brain is stimulated with both texting and using drugs, like heroin. Signs of being addicted to texting include: losing track of time, not eating or sleeping, ignoring other people or lying because of texting and always needing to receive more texts.

Here’s my question to you: Is too much technology a bad thing?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: On Jack's radar • Technology
August 25th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Striking similarities between Great Depression & today?


In this photo from the 1930s, a group of boys on a residential street run after their homemade go-kart.  (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the White House insists this is a "recovery summer," others say it looks a lot more like the Great Depression.

CNBC reports that economist David Rosenberg says like today, the Great Depression also had its high points - including big stock market gains and a series of positive GDP reports. Yet in both cases, these signs of recovery were unsustainable and gave people a false sense of stability.

According to Rosenberg, the U.S. economy is in "a depression, and not just some garden-variety recession." He compares how both during the 1930s and today people have a "euphoric response" to any glimmer of good economic news.

He says in the 1929-1933 depression, there were six quarterly bounces in GDP. So far, we've had four this time around.

Several top analysts have slashed their GDP projections for 2010... down to the 1.5 and two percent range.

The president of the Chicago federal reserve says that the risk of a double dip recession is growing, adding that the government programs meant to help homeowners aren't working.

Existing home sales plunged more than 27 percent last month - twice as much as analysts expected. And new home sales also fell by more than 12 percent to their slowest pace ever.

Economists warn that a double-dip in housing prices is also just around the corner - which could slow the recovery even more.

Add in the fact that there are no jobs, unemployment remains stuck near 10 percent, and the outlook is dark.

To top it off, Morgan Stanley says a global debt crisis is just beginning, and the bond market tussle we saw in Europe this past spring is just the beginning.

Here’s my question to you: What might it mean that there are striking similarities between the Great Depression and today's economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy • Unemployment • Unemployment / Economy • United States