In the United States today, many would find life almost unbearable without their “smart phones,”or cell phones equipped with built-in apps and internet access.
According to a study from the research firm Nielsen, about half of all Americans have smart phones. The constant ability to text, surf the web, play games, and check Twitter and Facebook is a great privilege to have, but this “freedom” can quickly turn into a costly restriction when phone owners become addicted to their devices.
Junior Jorden Glinsek said his brother, sophomore Drew Glinsek, has become very attached to his HTC Evo 3D smart phone. “He always has it and his friends agree that his phone use is excessive,” Jorden said. “He even hacked into his old phone to change the firmware and make the phone faster just to keep up with all the things he does on it.” Drew agrees he can get distracted by his phone when he’s around his friends, and said he mostly uses his phone for social media and snap-chatting.
When people are constantly checking Twitter and playing games, they are cut off from the world around them and can miss out on face-to-face interactions. People resort to communicating with others solely through their phones and can feel awkward actually talking in person. In addition, the multi-tasking nature of smart phones can make it difficult to focus and pay attention.
“I definitely think my smart phone is addictive,” senior Robbie Kump said. “Between texting, social media, and games, the possibilities to get distracted are endless. I always have my phone with me, and I feel like I’m always checking it.”
When people feel the need to constantly be on their smart phones, it is difficult for them to be fully engaged with their friends and peers.
“I don’t have a smart phone and I don’t really want one,” senior Jessica Osterday said. “I have an iPad for using apps at home and I’m already on my phone a lot for texting. If I had a smart phone I would be tempted to use it even more, and I feel like it’s rude to always be on your phone when you’re with people. It stops you from actually talking to people.”
Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.” Has Einstein’s nightmare become reality? Has the world reached the point where tools of communication, multitasking, and research have become enablers of isolation, distraction, and laziness?
Maybe I’ll text my friend and she what she thinks…