For all the doom and gloom, the author misses the many ways in which these devices do, in fact, make it easier for people to connect and get together. For example, I did some last minute xmas shopping yesterday; I couldn't think of a thing to get for my sister's kids, so I sent a quick text to her asking for ideas and then continued looking for gifts for my brother's kids, for whom I already had some ideas. Half an hour later I got a text back from my sister and had gifts for her four kids within 20 minutes. Pre-smartphone I could not have accomplished that; instead, I would have had to either get them gifts that they might very well not like (perhaps this is why we used to get so many ugly sweaters and packs of socks for xmas when we were kids), or I would have had to trudge home, call her up, trudge back to the store, and finally get those same gifts.
Technology is a mere instrument, how it affects you - what you choose to do with it - is up to you. Blaming smartphones for peoples' disconnection from each other is a little like blaming guns for shootings; the blame lies with the mind behind the finger that pulls the trigger, not the trigger.