Smartphone Addiction

Posted on the 07 November 2014 by Luciano Pacini
Ladies and Gentlemen, just for you here I go with one new paradox of mine: “They were born to make us communicate with those who are far away from us but at the end they have made us distant from those who are close to us”. What am I talking about? Try to think, but in case you are too lazy and you don’t want to guess so keep reading.

Smartphone addiction

Photo 1. Monkeys can use phone better than some people

As I was saying I have just given birth to this concept but in a simple way. So do you know how? This time without thinking about it much, just walking through the streets of some cities and seeing what people were doing more.
I don’t know about you my dear readers where do you live, (actually I know more or less form my blog statistics!) and if also it happens to you, but I see more and more people on the streets, subways, in stores, at work, everywhere doing what? They are keeping head down on their mobile phones. Don’t think absolutely that I have a problem with portable tech specifically, because I know very well that those devices can facilitate the life, but as everything, I believe that its abuse it is getting people’s mind crazy. Before mobile phones were invented, folks would have had no other choice than a physical interacting, however it looks like that is no longer necessary as you can now pretend you are doing something important on your phone rather than think of something to say to the person in front of you. I guess this contemporary social phenomenon has its reasons. Let’s try to discover something more about it. First mobile phones, smartphones later, beside allowing everyone to reach each other, they are actually creating something of different. I can say from my poetic point of view that what is happening it is some sort of alienation, loneliness, detachment from those around you when you are fully absorbed from something that shoud be just a tool. The most widely used of all technological gadgets is cancelling spontaneous interaction that would arise among the people, drawing you all in looking at the pixels of the touch screen rather than to the eyes of your neighbours.

Smartphone addiction

Photo 2. Some girls are going crazy with their smartphones

Before people began using mobile phones, they were much more likely to talk directly with each other; all of which now no longer is required because they are concentrated to interact with their mobile devices. My concept is that as our smartphones make it easier to connect with people across the globe, they often can make it harder to connect “face to face”. Personally I just feel I would be missing too much of the world around me if I have to stare into the palm of my hand the whole time, I mean to my phone, because actually my hand can be more seductive than an electronic thing. So it is possible sometimes these technological tools are becoming a barrier to communication in person. In a methaphortical way I can say that I see how people just used those things to hide their awkwardness, to fill the silence; so those devices allow everybody to withdraw rather than engage.All people who is walking around parks, in shopping centers, at restaurants and at social events, have one thing in common: no matter how public or social their setting might be, I usually catch them at a time when they are using their smartphone rather than speaking with each other. They don't even seem present in the real world because they are plugged into a virtual dimension that they have made their own.On the other hand, it is very possible that people could be receiving an urgent message or checking a map on their phone in that moment in which I am observing them. Actually as I said I am not averse to technology, however, I am just thinking that people are starting to derive more pleasure from their computer cuddles than from their “person to person” interactions. Maybe people would at least consider how they use their smartphones and question whether it is appropriate to do it at the expense of themselves. 
We can understand better this problem  if we see what this modern phenomenon really is. The way smartphones impact our conversation in life is ambiguous because their essence is also like that. Simply look at any group of friends in a restaurant, a couple meant to be on a romantic date or how your colleagues act the next time you have a meeting. I have been doing a lot and while I am looking at those subjects, I notice that smartphones are becoming a barrier to when people actually meet up in person. The device takes precedence over the person that is present. It is a form of rejection and lowers the self-worth of the person superceded for just a thing because they would focus on their phone rather than speak to the person they are with.

Smartphone addiction

Photo 3. Even "The Master" has been caught but...He can "do it"

You see couples in restaurants eating in silence, who can barely even look at each other. Smartphones have created a way to make the silence somewhat more bearable but it is just masking the unwillingness to communicate with each other. And yet, it is even more disgusting in some ways because you are implying that whoever or whatever you are interacting with on your device it is more important than the person in front of you. I know that maybe people want to be better behaved with their phones, but at the same time feel utterly dependent on it for everything. I think it shows that digital communication is starting to be almost preferential to people in comparison with usual interaction.A few years ago this would have been seen as a sign of rudeness but checking your phone has now become socially acceptable because everyone is doing it and this conformism really gets me piss off.At this point many questions arise: did these signs arrive to a point where talking “face to face” has been made extinct by smartphones and tablets? Or is this merely the natural progression of nowadays, where technology has opened up new ways to communicate to people all around the world?I think that when you have protection of a screen and a keyboard and you can think about your response, you become much more contrived and guarded. You choose how to present yourself rather than being exposed for what you are and it is for this reason that people are resorting more and more to computer communication. It allows them to be the best version of themselves and that is very appealing. But I think the problem is that people don’t accept themselves for who they are and so they need to create something fake about them.Many people think being a good communicator is all about being really confident and technology is only going to give people more ways to communicate but everything is not so simple and I think that it is down to the individual as to how to best use these services. The real conversation is an art and it will never die, it is just changing and evolving during the time but the smartphone as a principal it is neutral, is just a tool, and it depends only from the people, they are the only who can give it a positive or a negative connotation. In fact for example many emergency situations have been resolved thanks to a call from a mobile, but on the other hands we all know how can be annoying somebody that instead of chatting with us prefer looking at the phone screen. So its normal use is good because is like to have a little computer in your pocket, just not when it becomes an addiction.I think it is wonderful that with new technology we can communicate with people who are close to our hearts but maybe physically far away from us. The only thing is that you should not take for granted the fact that those who call you should have your priority, because philosophically speaking the priority must have the person with whom we are talking “face to face”. This is a simple concept but is not so popular. There are more ways to communicate now than in the past and as a result it is harder for somebody to make the right choice. I think that people when they have more options they are having to get smarter about the choices they make because more possibilities means more potentiality but also more confusion, and so if you want to deal with all of that in the best way, you must be a great person. And what does it means to be a great person? I guess will tell you one of those days.

Smartphone addiction

Photo 4. A modern date: what's the point of that? Ah! They are sending messages to each other! 

Related Post: It Doesn't Matter What Medium You Use But How You Use It

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