Most of us have a smartphone. Some of us use them all the time from the moment we get up to right before we go to sleep. Maybe a little too much.
They’re wonderful devices. Small computers that can fit in the palm of our hands and access a world of information with a couple of taps. If I’m on the bus and an idle thought comes across my mind like “Do birds burp?” I can have an answer for this burning question in a few moments. Could you imagine having that bug you for the whole day?
Or more likely I’d just browse cat pictures
It’s nice to be able to do that, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s such a good thing being connected all the time, to always be online. I don’t think I’m attached too badly. I’m probably guilty of using it first thing when I wake up in the morning and taking it out instead of interacting with a friend that’s right in front of me, but not often. Plenty of are worse than I am though. You’ve probably noticed it, maybe done it yourself, or experienced the nightmare scenario of a date spending more time looking at their phone than at you.
That probably reflects more on me than them though
People can become addicted to their smartphones, a constant need to check the phone for the latest updates, find little, then check again a few minutes later or feeling anxious and irritable can be a problem. Overuse without an addiction is probably more likely for most people and still causes a number of problems. Phones affect concentration and interfere with sleep.
South Korea even have a treatment centre for teenagers, and plan to build more. The first of these is in Muju and it forces those attending live without smartphones, laptops or any technology and access to WiFi for up to 4 weeks. They’re encouraged to read, play games and just interact with each other face to face and not through their smartphones. It seems like a neat idea, if a bit scary. The goal isn’t to stop them from using them altogether, but to have them moderate use once they leave.
It may be a bit extreme, and I’m sure anyone could moderate their smartphone usage by being aware of when and how they use their devices.
Leaving the phone out of your hands while you go to the bathroom could be a step in the right direction.