Everyone these days has a different opinion on smart phones. Your grandparents may love them, or they may not understand them. Chances are that when the topic of smartphones is brought up, they have less than favorable things to say about them. I'm guessing that it's something along the lines of: “In my day if you wanted to know where something was, you had to look at a map. You had know street names and addresses. If you needed to know the answer to a math problem on the spot, you had to know how to do the math. If you wanted to know something, you had to open a book!”. But why are these incredible advancements in technology being shunned by older generations?
With cell phones we are so much safer, we are able to contact people from pretty much anywhere. Cell phones can save lives, we can document important events, and we can use our cameras to take videos and pictures of dangerous things and use them as proof. We can go anywhere with our GPS, we can research things anywhere, we have dozens of electronics (camera, computer, calculator, GPS etc.) in one phone that can go anywhere, we have something to entertain us while we wait for an appointment, for a class to begin, for a bus to come pick us up. In all honesty the benefits of cell phones are boundless, but no good thing can be completely free of consequences.
Today, anyone under the age of 50 probably has used a smartphone before, and if they have they would know that these are amazing devices that have had a huge impact on our lives. We have world full of knowledge in our pockets and that means that we are the most aware that we have ever been. We have apps that can do our homework for us, something that was a joke or dream among students just a few years ago. We have apps that allow us to see art from others all over the world and talk about it, we have apps that allow people to post pictures and descriptions about how they are feeling and what they are doing. We are more advanced than ever, more social than ever. But what does this mean for our lives outside of the phone?
Today you would be hard pressed to find a someone without a phone, who has never made a friend online, who’s never had social media. And most of the day is spent in this virtual world where we can be or talk to anyone we want, but of course this means that we are spending less time living our real lives. We make less friends in the real world, we can hurt the friends we already have and unfortunately most of us can say that we’ve made these mistakes. So why do we keep these things around? It seems like for every good thing they do, they are also the cause of a ten bad things. But maybe... it’s not them, it’s us. We are the ones doing these things, hurting our friends, cheating in school, sharing things illegally, we are the ones that are getting into accidents because whatever is on that screen is more important than our lives for a second, we are the ones making bad choices, and we are the only ones who can stop this.
When was the last time that you just sat down and thought, about your future, your day, the recent events in your life, and how you felt about things? For me, it’s been a while. But why? Why aren’t we thinking for ourselves anymore, thinking about the consequences of our actions, thinking about what we have to do to succeed, thinking about how we got to where we are now, thinking about who we are and what we want? Maybe it’s because of that metal thing in your pocket, that thing that you are reading this on right now? How can we possibly ever use our brain when we have a life time’s worth of entertainment in our possession all the time? So there it is, there’s the issue with phones, much bigger than we thought huh? Do the advantages outweigh the consequences? Are we better off with them? Maybe there’s a single answer to this question, or... maybe it’s up to you to decide if having that phone in your hand is worth it.