Have we just become the antisocial iPhone zombies?
There’s no denying the fact that technology has become all-consuming. Don’t believe me? Simply walk down the street. Or go absolutely anywhere in public. Take note of how many people have their heads down, staring into their phone screens. For all intents and purposes, the telephone has become a legitimate part of the human anatomy. Try and imagine literally any other item on this planet that would not be weird to carry around 24/7 and stare at constantly. It’s actually become a necessity to so many people.
As someone who spends a lot on his phone, I can understand it. Just yesterday, I was trying to get some work done and my phone wouldn’t stop ringing, buzzing, and vibrating. Since I know myself and I know my weaknesses, I knew that I’d feel compelled to look every time that little rectangle went off. So, I put it in the other room. I gave my phone a time-out, and when I went back to retrieve it just over an hour later, I had nine missed calls, 17 text messages, and four emails to respond to.
It made me realize that this thing doesn’t contribute to my life; it controls it.
However, I’m ok with that.
Many would argue that our phones, and technology as a whole, have ruined communication. You hear the same complaint constantly; “younger generations don’t speak to one another anymore.” You take a look at any group of Millennials or Gen-Zers and odds are the majority will have their necks strained downwards and their wrists tilted up, phone in hand and thumb working its magic.
Older generations (and many young people, too) lament this behavior; they get frustrated when a phone appears at the dinner table or if someone sends a text mid-conversation.
But is it really worse? Has technology really made human interaction worse, or has it simply optimized it by eliminating an outdated and inefficient form of communication: the face-to-face interaction.
I’m 29 years old, and I can’t do just one thing at a time. Call it A.D.D. or whatever you want, but I’m unable to focus on just one thing. If I’m having a conversation, I need to be reading an article as well. If I’m watching a movie, I need to be texting someone at the same time. If I’m writing an article, I need to be scrolling Instagram while I do it. This is just how I function, and I’m sure a lot of people can relate. In order for my brain (a machine, after all) to function at maximum capacity, it needs to be working in several different capacities. I cannot concentrate unless I’m multitasking, and I think that’s a wonderful evolution of human capabilities.
Furthermore, perhaps the reason our faces are constantly buried in our phones is because it’s better there. After all, there must be a reason everyone’s doing it.
That tiny brick of plastic and wires holds more information inside of it than every single library on the face of this earth. With it, you can communicate with every single one of your friends, as well as any celebrity, public figure, athlete, or PERSON you wish. You can learn, you can create, and you can communicate all with a few taps of your thumb. You can build an entire career using your phone. Heck, you can tap your screen a few times and a pizza will show up at your front door. If that isn’t evolution at it’s finest then I don’t know what is.
So, before you go whining and complaining that people are on their phones too much and that technology is killing communication or that people don’t know how to speak to one another anymore, think about the reason why. Perhaps those phones are on to something. Perhaps there’s a reason why everyone is so hooked on them. Perhaps, rather than fight a losing fight, you should learn to adopt changes, because not all changes are bad ones.
Photo Cred: Creative Commons