Remember when we only had feature phones and we were limited to just calls and text. You are probably one of those who held a stopwatch throughout a call before the introduction of the per second billing to ensure that your scripted speech does not exceed the budget. In those days, It was also common to reconstruct a particular SMS over and over again to ensure you don’t lose extra bucks to a few stray characters that make it to the next page.Life must have been pretty sluggish with feature phones right? You practically had to think through everything.
Then phones started getting smarter, and we welcomed the internet with open arms ushering us into an unregulated world. With free messaging and call apps, we can say whatever we want, wherever we want to whoever we want in a flash. Gone are the days of counting and thinking; just go with the flow
Everyone on social media is dying to see your beautiful picture so people mindlessly take selfies even in dangerous conditions. Multitasking is the way to go, so it is okay to add driving to your numerous app list. What is the next hot political debate? We have all become journalists and analysts, let us trash it out on Facebook or Twitter. It is okay to become a news reporter in a flash simply because you have a good camera, so you see people taking pictures and videos in the middle of a life-threatening situation.
Gone are the days when we consciously manipulated our phones to meet our needs, now the phones are in control. With a smartphone, everything is just a few clicks away, except our brains. You impulsively respond to the irresistible sound of your pings, social media notifications and calls. Your soul is filled with joy as the number of likes and comments on your post increases.
An increasing number of people have become disconnected from the real world, with our phones we can do anything or be anything we want in the virtual world we have created for ourselves. So it is not surprising that all the self-acclaimed journalist, activist, freedom fighters etc make so much noise about pertinent issues on social media yet no action is taken in the real world.
We are paying dearly for our thoughtlessness; selfie-related deaths are on the rise. Only a few days ago, these young girls met their end when they were struck by the wing of an airplane while taking selfies near an airstrip. Smartphones are implicated as a major cause of distracted driving, a research by AT&T revealed that 70% of smartphone users are on their phones while driving. Cyberbullying still remains a cause for concern and fake news is on the rise.
With the increasing rise of death and injuries caused by distracted driving, we have now subjected ourselves to laws to protect ourselves from our own phones. We now rely on law enforcement agencies to remind us to take charge of our lives. Smartphones have even become items to kill for. Humans have totally lost it.
Perhaps the biggest problem is: as more and more people become absorbed in the virtual world created by their smartphones, with all the thoughtlessness and carelessness that comes with it, what is the fate of the real world? Smartphones are amazing devices but unless we train our minds to use them right, they can completely wreck our world.
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Writer. Interested in EdTech and tech careers