In 2040, We'll Look at Smartphones Like Cigarettes

The other day a friend of mine posed a really mind-boggling question: What if oxygen is actually poisonous and it’s slowly killing us all? What if human beings are meant to live much longer lives, but oxygen is what’s taking us all out? What if we were wrong about oxygen all along, and rather than it being the source of life we believe it to be, it’s the exact opposite? It was an interesting topic of discussion, to say the least.

However, none of us knew nearly enough about science or the way the world works in order to properly discuss the subject. It did get the ball rolling on another tangent, though.

What’s something that we do know a lot about and depend on equally as much as oxygen? Our cell phones! To quote stand-up comic Gary Gulman, calling your smartphone just a phone is like calling your Audi a cup-holder. Today’s smartphones are so much more than just telephones; they’re an all-in-one tool used for practically anything you could possibly imagine. They’ve evolved into the most powerful tool in human history, while remaining approximately the size of a sleek-looking Kit-Kat bar. Judging how far they’ve evolved, it’s actually unfathomable to try and comprehend just how much more smartphone technology can evolve in years to come. So, let’s take the same hypothesis and apply it to cellphones (which actually isn’t too far-fetched); what would happen if we suddenly discovered that our cellphones were killing us?

I want to believe that humans are smart enough to do away with anything proven to be the cause of their demise. However, that isn’t always necessarily the case. I mean, just look at how many people still smoke cigarettes. It’s been decades now that we have solid, scientific evidence of the long-lasting, harmful effects of cigarettes. The packaging straight up tells you that this will kill you. In fact, I can’t even think of anything good or useful that they provide; cigarettes are straight up just a negative thing. However, what do people do with such valuable information? Oh, they just choose to willfully ignore it and continue smoking. “I know it’s a bad habit and I really should quit. I swear I will soon.”

Then again, it begs the question: with overpopulation becoming a real concern, are the people who consciously elect to use devices and substances that are proven harmful to them just meant to perish? Is that not the definition of natural selection, or the survival of the fittest? Not to get too deep or philosophical here, but maybe some people just aren’t meant to last.

That’s why I believe that in the year 2040, once we discover that smartphones are actually killing us all, there will still be a whole slew of people who just can’t kick the habit. It raises the question: would you rather smoke, eat fatty foods, use your cellphone and limit your lifespan, or avoid anything enjoyable and live a longer, boring life?

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