Smartphones. Everyone has one and I am really beginning to wonder if this device that lets us access the internet, text, or call someone whenever we want is a good thing or a bad thing. At first thought, of course it is. It allows us to communicate to people faster and more efficiently than we ever have before, but then as I go through my everyday life and see how we have become addicted to these devices I think at what cost is more efficient communication.
I often find myself reaching into my pocket to pull out my phone when I feel uncomfortable or lonely, sometimes I will catch myself and say no, put it back and just sit there instead. I caught myself doing this several times this week alone and was able to use that time of just sitting there to observe others. As I left one class and began walking through campus I counted the amount of people on their phones. I counted 39 people from Hamilton hall back to my fraternity alone. Almost half of the people I passed were plugged into some sort of technology. I will often sit before class and just look around and see almost the entire class on their phones mindlessly staring at their screens. Every time I do this I get sad. Not knowing the reason why, but it just happens. Sitting there in a class full of people I feel alone. Everyone is in their own world and it is just saddening.
Whenever I think about this phone “problem” critically I cannot help but wonder if the creators of these products feel guilty. Do they feel like the scientist that created the atom bomb and say to themselves, “and with this I become the destroyer of worlds.” I think smartphones have this power. It will not physically destroy Earth, but it will destroy the minds and the culture of our society and turn it into something completely new and I cannot see it being a positive change. Smart phones were made with good intentions: allow people to communicate better and access information easier. They certainly never intended for a whole generation to become so memorized by a device that they forgot about reality.
I am not saying that I am better than anyone else, because I am constantly on my phone. Whether it is texting friends, looking up something on google, watching YouTube videos or a hundred other things that are possible. Sometimes I wish these devices that control our lives never existed. I hate that I can be sitting with my friends and no one talks for 10 or 15 minutes because everyone is engaged with someone else through some sort of technology.
Rhetoric and the way we communicate and speak… I wonder if technology is doing away with this entire concept. Eventually will no one ever talk to each other or give speeches to the public because technology can do it so much better. Technology can make it easier, so why work harder. I do not think it will ever get that extreme to where no one speaks to each other, but I am confident that the quality of conversation will continue to diminish as technology keeps advancing.
After watching the TED talk about this I felt like my feelings were being confirmed as well as questioned. It was defiantly a new perspective on this concept and it really made me think more critically about the whole situation. One of my favorite videos about this is an interview on a talk show with Louis C.K. He says that he hates cellphones and what they do to people, and I agree. Although I will likely not throw away my phone, I sometimes wish everyone would.