Are We Addicted to Smartphones?

“Stop using that phone so phone so much!” “What is there in that phone for you to look at it so much??” “If you spent lesser time on that phone you could win the Nobel Peace Prize”

We hear that all the time. Ok, maybe not the last part, but the others are commonplace in parenting lexicon. We normally dismiss this as misconception due to the generation gap; but what happens when someone of around the same age group complains of the same thing? Ironically my friend had asked me the same thing. She thought mobile phones are very distracting and don’t encourage conversations. Now I’d like to think myself as more contemporary in thinking and someone who likes to be au courant; and naturally I had a different point to what she said. But in the end who was right? Was it me or did I succumb to her point of view?

People do spend the bulk of their time peering over the tiny little object stuck to their hand, if it’s not held against the side of their heads. Infact, a recent study by O2 showed that people spend more time with their phone than they do with their partner, each day. 2 hours of quality time each day goes towards using these smart phones; and texting and talking on the phone are only the 5th and 6th most used functions on the phone. Phones are clearly making waves in disturbing conversation and personal space, which seemed a lot different before. So does that mean we should stop using smart phones? I think not.

Mobile-phones were at-first, and for a long time, considered luxury products that was useful for only a handful of people. The others who held it were considered show offs. However, technology has changed and as it advanced, costs were cut and mobile phones became more accessible to a wider demographic. So much so that today pretty much everyone with any sort of disposable income has a cell-phone. Phones are transcending from being mere gadgets of fancy to one of the most integral and useful tools of mankind. Therefore, it is only natural that the users of these gadgets will evolve to use the same to its fullest potential. It’s also natural that we will have people who resistant to this sort of change or preferred ‘the way things used to be’. But let us analyse this a little bit more rationally.

I’m sure when the original telephone became accessible to people, you’d have had resistance to it where people would have claimed ‘The telephone has stopped people from coming over to the house. The mehman-nawazi has disintegrated as people don’t want to travel’. And over the years, this thought process has not only diminished but has been completely eradicated. Similar issues with technology (internet, chat, cell phones) have cropped up over time and currently we’re faced with that of the smart phone (which seems to have combined all those issues together). What can we do?

Like I said before, the behaviour is evolutionary. We must move with time and not be swept away by the tides of change. We will warm up to this behaviour soon enough and we will adapt. Till then, we can prioritise certain things and give importance to them enough to switch a smart phone on silent or off or atleast temporarily disable data services. I’m sure we’ll be able to enjoy our meetings, family dinners, dates and night outs better with a little bit more patience and little less anxiety.

Thank you
PS: I beat my friend in our little debate. She must be irate reading this 😛

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