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Friday, November 7, 2014

Smartphone addiction

Ladies and Gentlemen, just for you here I go with one new paradox of mine: “They were born to make us communicate with those who are far away from us but at the end they have made us distant from those who are close to us”. What am I talking about? Try to think, but in case you are too lazy and you don’t want to guess so keep reading.
Photo 1. Monkeys can use phone better than some people
As I was saying I have just given birth to this concept but in a simple way. So do you know how? This time without thinking about it much, just walking through the streets of some cities and seeing what people were doing more.
I don’t know about you my dear readers where do you live, (actually I know more or less form my blog statistics!) and if also it happens to you, but I see more and more people on the streets, subways, in stores, at work, everywhere doing what? They are keeping head down on their mobile phones. 
Don’t think absolutely that I have a problem with portable tech specifically, because I know very well that those devices can facilitate the life, but as everything, I believe that its abuse it is getting people’s mind crazy. 
Before mobile phones were invented, folks would have had no other choice than a physical interacting, however it looks like that is no longer necessary as you can now pretend you are doing something important on your phone rather than think of something to say to the person in front of you. I guess this contemporary social phenomenon has its reasons. Let’s try to discover something more about it. 
First mobile phones, smartphones later, beside allowing everyone to reach each other, they are actually creating something of different. I can say from my poetic point of view that what is happening it is some sort of alienation, loneliness, detachment from those around you when you are fully absorbed from something that shoud be just a tool. The most widely used of all technological gadgets is cancelling spontaneous interaction that would arise among the people, drawing you all in looking at the pixels of the touch screen rather than to the eyes of your neighbours.
Photo 2. Some girls are going crazy with their smartphones
Before people began using mobile phones, they were much more likely to talk directly with each other; all of which now no longer is required because they are concentrated to interact with their mobile devices. My concept is that as our smartphones make it easier to connect with people across the globe, they often can make it harder to connect “face to face”. Personally I just feel I would be missing too much of the world around me if I have to stare into the palm of my hand the whole time, I mean to my phone, because actually my hand can be more seductive than an electronic thing. So it is possible sometimes these technological tools are becoming a barrier to communication in person. In a methaphortical way I can say that I see how people just used those things to hide their awkwardness, to fill the silence; so those devices allow everybody to withdraw rather than engage.
All people who is walking around parks, in shopping centers, at restaurants and at social events, have one thing in common: no matter how public or social their setting might be, I usually catch them at a time when they are using their smartphone rather than speaking with each other. They don't even seem present in the real world because they are plugged into a virtual dimension that they have made their own.
On the other hand, it is very possible that people could be receiving an urgent message or checking a map on their phone in that moment in which I am observing them. Actually as I said I am not averse to technology, however, I am just thinking that people are starting to derive more pleasure from their computer cuddles than from their “person to person” interactions. Maybe people would at least consider how they use their smartphones and question whether it is appropriate to do it at the expense of themselves. 
We can understand better this problem  if we see what this modern phenomenon really is. The way smartphones impact our conversation in life is ambiguous because their essence is also like that. Simply look at any group of friends in a restaurant, a couple meant to be on a romantic date or how your colleagues act the next time you have a meeting. I have been doing a lot and while I am looking at those subjects, I notice that smartphones are becoming a barrier to when people actually meet up in person. The device takes precedence over the person that is present. It is a form of rejection and lowers the self-worth of the person superceded for just a thing because they would focus on their phone rather than speak to the person they are with. 
Photo 3. Even "The Master" has been caught but...He can "do it"
You see couples in restaurants eating in silence, who can barely even look at each other. Smartphones have created a way to make the silence somewhat more bearable but it is just masking the unwillingness to communicate with each other. And yet, it is even more disgusting in some ways because you are implying that whoever or whatever you are interacting with on your device it is more important than the person in front of you. I know that maybe people want to be better behaved with their phones, but at the same time feel utterly dependent on it for everything. I think it shows that digital communication is starting to be almost preferential to people in comparison with usual interaction.
A few years ago this would have been seen as a sign of rudeness but checking your phone has now become socially acceptable because everyone is doing it and this conformism really gets me piss off.
At this point many questions arise: did these signs arrive to a point where talking “face to face” has been made extinct by smartphones and tablets? Or is this merely the natural progression of nowadays, where technology has opened up new ways to communicate to people all around the world?
I think that when you have protection of a screen and a keyboard and you can think about your response, you become much more contrived and guarded. You choose how to present yourself rather than being exposed for what you are and it is for this reason that people are resorting more and more to computer communication. It allows them to be the best version of themselves and that is very appealing. But I think the problem is that people don’t accept themselves for who they are and so they need to create something fake about them.
Many people think being a good communicator is all about being really confident and technology is only going to give people more ways to communicate but everything is not so simple and I think that it is down to the individual as to how to best use these services. 
The real conversation is an art and it will never die, it is just changing and evolving during the time but the smartphone as a principal it is neutral, is just a tool, and it depends only from the people, they are the only who can give it a positive or a negative connotation. In fact for example many emergency situations have been resolved thanks to a call from a mobile, but on the other hands we all know how can be annoying somebody that instead of chatting with us prefer looking at the phone screen. So its normal use is good because is like to have a little computer in your pocket, just not when it becomes an addiction.
I think it is wonderful that with new technology we can communicate with people who are close to our hearts but maybe physically far away from us. The only thing is that you should not take for granted the fact that those who call you should have your priority, because philosophically speaking the priority must have the person with whom we are talking “face to face”. This is a simple concept but is not so popular. 
There are more ways to communicate now than in the past and as a result it is harder for somebody to make the right choice. I think that people when they have more options they are having to get smarter about the choices they make because more possibilities means more potentiality but also more confusion, and so if you want to deal with all of that in the best way, you must be a great person. And what does it means to be a great person? I guess will tell you one of those days.
Photo 4. A modern date: what's the point of that? Ah! They are sending messages to each other! 

Related Post: It Doesn't Matter What Medium You Use But How You Use It

26 comments:

  1. Hi there,
    I think smartphone "addiction" is an interesting topic and well worth thinking about. Personally my opinions go back and forth on this topic from day to day. Smartphones are an excellent tool and allow me to connect to friends and family across the world. But more than that it allows me to meet new people who I never would have outside of social media and the world of my iPhone. For example I can meet other people who have suffered from depression or have similar worldviews and experiences while people in my day-to-day "real" life cannot empathize.
    I don't know how damaging smartphones will be to future generations, I don't have much of an issue personally I don't think. Maybe that's because my phone service was shut off for about 6 months earlier this year. XD But for people who are raised with constant access to the rest of the world...we will see how human relationships evolve, it will be interesting to watch.
    I would also like to talk about relationships with people online and how they tend to be viewed as not "real" as face-to-face people you see. My mother in particular used to think along these lines. But this comment is already far too long. Can't wait to see your next post. :3

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  2. Ciao Amanda, thank you for your comment, you gave me as always a lot of inspiration. I see that you point your finger into the fact that these phones have internet access and I also think that this is the main thing. Actually even before with sms you saw many people with phone in their hands but definitely what changed the rule of the game has been having internet constantly with you. In fact you talk about that you can be in contact with many people around the world and this thing can happen either with or without your phone, it can be with your computer for example. So I think sometimes I have to write about internet and how people use it, I guess will be an interesting topic. For now I just want to tell you that to stay for a while without your phone can be a good "therapy", (even if you didn't have a choice I guess). Everybody should do, just to be able to understand how they are not so strong and how they depend a lot on things.
    I want to talk also about the topic of your personal problem that you mentioned but really is going to be too long here; I just promise that if you want I will write about that, I have my interesting vision as you immagine because you know me. I just can say that I am happy for you that now you feel good and maybe is helpfull for you to read me at least as much as it is nice for me reading your comments and ideas. I think it is normal sometimes that life is like a rollercoaster, otherwise it would be too flat. You will always have ups and downs and for this reason people are looking for a balance. We just have to accept our emotions, but above all learning how to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. This is really important in life....

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  3. o! This is a good topic! Just in time)
    Great thoughts Luciano!
    Only two days ago one of my friends said ‘Look at this! It is such an amazing thing (showing phone). We can call to the other side of the Earth and contact with our family and friends. This thing made an amazing person.’ Ye, he was right) it is amazing that we can contact at any time friends or family. just need to dial the number, push one button and hear long-awaited voice ;) or we can write a message which someone can keep for many year in his/her phone just to remember and see the amazing words from that message)
    But just yesterday one of other friends was saying different thing) ‘ I hate phone. XXX came to visit me and all day was talking through messages with someone else.’ :D For me it is very funny to see when two or more people just sitting in restaurant in their phones and not talking with each other :D then i don’t see the reason to meet. But I think it shows how much other person wants to see you or talk with you.
    There are good and bad sides as always. From the one side, with phone help you can contact anyone at any time, you can get access to the internet and read necessary things, you can take pictures, video and use voice recorder. When I walk outside, see some friends I can take a picture and always looking at that remember about that day (or take a video). With phone help I can learn languages, read book, read articles connected with education or interests.
    From the other side, some people doing unnecessary things, playing, gambling, reading negative news and bombard mind with negative energy, start to forget about reality (as you said) – communicate with people only with phone and applications in it. Start to live unreal life (here i would add also computer addiction). Lose the feeling of pleasure to talk with someone personally. Even in unpleasant situations, when you need to say someone not good/unpleasant to the person, still it is batter say in face.
    ‘Face to face’ communication, if it is possible, gives to see more, feel more, get more, as well it shows to the other person that you like to communicate with him/her, like the personality. The phone is just the equipment and we make him ‘alive’, we decide which role it will play in our life. Only we choose will we are going to gain something from this or lose ;)))

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    Replies
    1. Ciao Jelena, thank you for your comment and I really agree with you. For me it is a pleasure to see how you can notice my concepts in your life. You have understood completely what I wanted to say. At the end a phone is just a tool and everything depends on whom use it. It is like that for almost everything, for example even a simple thing like a car, you can use it going to work or going to commit a robbery; it is the same object that has been used but what make the difference is the people.
      Now that we know that, I think can be interesting if we pay attention to another point. What I am talking about is the following assumption: people too often use those tools without being original, just copying someone else. I think this is a social problem, that I can call conformism. I will talk better soon about that in some of my new posts because is really a big topic!
      Thank you again for your inspiration. It is always nice to have some hints like that!

      Delete
  4. Hello Luciano! Thank you for illuminate the urgent challenges of modern society. Great theme! As far as I remember, we already talked about the tools and what is the cause and what is consequence of the problem. Yes, the tool is just the thing that can't be bad and good, it can not make a person "bad", the tool can not be a barrier to communication, obstacle within us. Gadgets give comfort and security, if the person has a sufficient interest in life, he will not have fun with his phone away from reality, you said right, the smartphone is just a tool, but the problem is deeper, the smartphone only shows this problem. When I allow myself to use a smartphone during dinner with a person, this is the reason of respect, not because of the availability of the smartphone. I love your phrase, that your hand is much more interesting than your phone! Bravo! The world is oversaturated with electronic devices so it is already impossible to surprise us with something. To hear the voice of a man, which is located on a different continent so ordinary, to be on the planes chair in the sky - not impressive. To be in silence is boring! Be charmed by the soul of another person - what are you talking About? And yet, there are people who certainly enjoy the achievements of modern communication, but would never change a simple and great things, such as looking into the eyes of his interlocutor, real hugs, admired the sunset, smell the flowers, to the banal chat, view news or new selfi.
    Ciao

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    Replies
    1. Ciao Katerina, I was going to write that I agree with every single world of your comment while on the last part of it I have suddenly found an interesting cue that I want to develop.
      I think you said a "big truth" when you talk about the fact that it is difficult now that people surprise themselves for something, because usually they take everything for granted. They have lost the imagination and how being amazed by little beautiful things of the life. So my statement is that nowadays we have just arrived to a point that "being modern" is mediocre because everybody are; instead of being able to recover certain values and a real meaning of the life it appears as unconventional. This is a paradox but is what actually happens on this planet.
      So even if there isn't much left to discover for the average citizen, it isn't like that for us and this is a great thing, at least for me, for you and for all the people whom read my blog with efforts: We are specials!
      So thank you again Katerina to make me think about such an important topic. As I said for the rest of your comment I can subscribe it all.

      Delete
  5. Yes it's true there are a lot of people in parks, bars, restaurants who are always watching to their smartphones, always checking messages, playing games, in buses, trains they are not even having an eyecontact, they are "busy". But hey Luciano, you are also addicted to your smartphone, so maybe let's start from ourselves the change, you know like always is said let's start from ourselves, and then we can change the others, cause they gonna see that something is changing, and as we noticed people like something what is new, no matter that is old, the same with clothes, the same with cars or other things. Everithing what was invented, fast trains, planes, touchscreen's smartphones was for better life, so could be tell that we have worse life than our granparents had or than our parents had. Well yes we could compare, but it's totally different, cause everything was changing at that time too, just for us it seems impossible to live without a smartphone, internet, but somehow it was possible years ago. And people as you mentioned wasn't affraid to talk with each other, to have an eye contact, now it seems that they are affraid of each other, but it gonna change. Cause people need people, you can meet your future wife or husband in the internet yes it really helps, and you realize that behind the borders of your country there are alot of people, a lot of place where you haven't been, and yes all new things which were invented helps to explore the world. But still with you're future wife or husband to get married you gonna meet in real life, you gonna plan your future, to explore other countries you gonna go there, you won't be looking just to the pictures in the internet. Now more and more people realize that smartphones disturb our "real life", and some people are changing it, more and more videos they help and affect people, also depends on people attitude. If you gonna use your smartphone aduring your meeting with a friend and he gonna tell you interesting things and you all the time would watch ant tect or check your smartphone, think about it next time when your friend gonna avoid to meet with you, or don't be angry if next time when you gonna tell something interesting your friend gonna ignore you and also on purpose gonna check all the time his smartphone. We need communication, we need real life, to just we can do changes and we are doing, some of them we do quickly for some of them we need some time. Hopefully soon everthing gonna changes, and people gonna change the values of life, and gonna enjoy moment's when it's possible with family or friends in real life, and gonna find some time, and if not at least gonna be in contact with smarthings help, but when gonna be possibility to meet in real life, we are not robots, we feel, we want to see we want to touch.

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    Replies
    1. Ciao Justina, first of all thank you very much for your comment, so much hints you have just given to me and so now I am going to answer you.
      I am happy that you noticed what I am talking about is all around you, in fact my concept always start form something of "very concrete".
      I can't agree with you when you say that I am also addicted to my phone, because it isn't true and I even can't figure out how can you say that, I mean, you don't have any clue! If you say in general that "who talks doesn't do" and "vice versa", I can say that there are some people actually like that, but if you refer it to me I can't accept this type of rhetoric. No way! There is a simple reason and I explain you: writing my blog it is an action, it is not an abstract thing, it is a concrete and good action actually, because in this way I can influence in a positive way many people all around the world. So this is a good example of how we can use a tool. But even if this would not be enough, I can say that I always try to put in practice my theories, and you should know that. If not would be useless! This is the point, to reach our target. Anyhow my concepts are already into the nature, because they begin just from there.
      I have to admit though that if I have a meeting, sometimes I have to put my effort to don't look at my phone and this happens because many people from all over the world text me every day, and I am very happy about that, I guess this is reasonable. However, honestly I try to give priority to those who are in front of me.
      Another point is this. I have also noticed some people whom have just arrived to the assumption that is better to avoid everything which is "virtual" but I even don't agree with them. Maybe I surprise you because I have just written a post about "phone addiction", but the reason is simple, it is because even that is an exasperation of a concept. If is wrong "being addicted to it", is wrong as well "reject it completely". As we said we are talking about a tool, so it depends how we use it. Perhaps it is not respectful towards those who are in front of you if you just keep looking to your mobil device, but what about if the love of your life in this moment is far away from you! I guess you would be very happy "to be in touch" while you are waiting of course for real hugs.
      So for now I guess it is enough; anyway Justina it is good if sometimes you tease me like this because I can't hide the fact that I like some controversy....but only when they are constructive.

      Delete
  6. it is the good blog. the author well described everything. people forgot to communicate. communication on social networks replaced real communication. even calls by phone became not so actual.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anna! Do you always write in third person as poets do? I am just joking! Thank you very much for your comment though. Keep reading what I write, we can practice English and above all we will discover a lot of interesting things about life, ciao!

      Delete
  7. Anonymous14:52

    Dear Luciano , shining article , with kindness and warmth! Can't to stay indifferent after reading.. Both of us remember another times, where people related simply, visiting each other. We can to nostalgate with, but also we have to improve ourselves with rithm of modern life.
    People can't to relate enoughly interesting , but with another reason, not thanking a technical progress, they do not want to work with their inner, being quite far from literature and real values. The virtual world takes them fully, but it is better , then narcotics and suicide, as for me.
    For example, if we will meet once in person, be sure, our devises should be forgotten !



    Отправлено с iPad

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    Replies
    1. Hello, I am very happy that with my writing I gave you some good emotions.
      Just one thing. I have to say that you don't have to do "the rethoric" of what is "less worse" just like that. Often people use this as an excuse to justify themselves of their actions. You will always could find something that is "less worse" of something else, but it doesn't mean anything. Doing the "right comparison" is not so easy as much as doing "a comparison of convenience". So you don't have to mix different topics in that way because you are just doing an irrational melting pot.
      After this necessay clarification I can say that for the rest of what you wrote I totally agree and I really like to shine on you. Thank you again for your comment, ciao!

      Delete
  8. Anonymous16:19

    Another great topic Luciano! I think as you about technology and the role that plays in our life.You are the best! Bravissimo! The monkey is very funny!!!!

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  9. Anonymous06:28

    I have the same great opinion about smartphone addiction. From one side, we can to live without phone, from other side-its impossible because, as you told, you can to wait when your «heart» will call you or write you. And when you get something, you are becoming better so, read again and again your dialog. Its good place so for keeping memories about your far love. We just should to control our time with using of it. Kisses ***

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  10. Anonymous06:30

    PS: Wonderful pic where is MASTER has been cautht))
    You need to add it pic on facebook. Your fans will be crazy about you

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  11. Hello! Ciao! Thank you very much for your comments. I agree with you and I want to take advantage of your nice words talking about Facebook.
    I am like an open book so I think that you have already understood that in general I feel nonconformist toward certain types of society. Consequently, for few years I have just avoided to use Fb, but later I have recognized that wasn't bad itself, it just was "the use" that people did of it that I didn't like. Anyway the time passed and I still didn't feel the necessity of this social network; just recently I have evolved my idea and I have been starting using it. The reason is simple, in this way all the nice people whom want to be updated about my wonderful ideas they can receive the notifications from there, and so for them is very easy to stay tuned with me. Suddenly I have just noticed that Fb is a tool, so we don't have to confuse its essence with the use that ignorant people do of it.
    I just tell you all of that because you suggest me to add more photos of me and you are right, I don't do it too much because for now, as I was explaining, I only use it in order to inform you about my blog and my videos on YouTube. Anyway I will consider your idea because I also want to see if it is, as you said, that my photos are going to like so much!
    Thank you again for your words and your energy, ciao!

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  12. Anonymous20:43

    I have to confess. I have smartphone addiction too. I use my phone reading and rereading my favourite articles in this blog!

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    Replies
    1. I guess this can be a case where a weakness becomes a strength!)

      Delete
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