Smartphone checking: people’s growing overdependence on digital media is now being taken seriously by psychologists, but ironically it is technology itself which may help us to alleviate the ‘addiction’. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Many people find themselves spending more time on their smartphone than they wish they did. However, most other afflicted people actually seem to be e(...)

Festival fun: the South By Southwest music, film and technology festival in Austin earlier this year – “Keep Austin Weird!” has become a catch-all calling card for the city which attracts musicians and software coders, political liberals and start-up entrepreneurs. Photograph: Darrell Craig Harris/Getty Images

Austin revels in its kooky status and the Texan capital’s slogan “Keep Austin Weird!” has become a catch-all calling card for musicians and softwar(...)

 Dr Stuart Brown at play: ‘It is probably no coincidence that humans are the most playful of all species. While the drive to play in adulthood is diminished, it does not disappear.’
The power of play

Everybody in the Dún Laoghaire shoe shop looked around as peals of delighted laughter rang out from a small boy posing with his big brother in front o(...)