Our phones are our livelihood. Since the famous invention of Alexander Graham Bell, we have been fascinated with this form of communication that has been the bridge between people for many years now. Not since the invention of written word, has there been such an amazing form of communication. In a way, the phone has almost taken over as the primary. What would Alexander think of how we live with this invention today? Is it everything that he had hoped for or has it almost became a curse in our society?
Have you gone 10 minutes without touching your phone? It’s confusing how we have adapted to cell phones in our lives. I would be scared to download an app that shows how much I actually touch my phone in a day. I already get my phone time tracked by Apple, which is already scary in itself! Why do we touch our phones so much? What do we feel we are benefitting from when we constantly touch our phones? My phone battery sadly died on me late last night while I was outside. I was so surprised at my sense of control that was lost. What was happening in the world that couldn’t be communicated to me during this time? Did someone just text or call me? It was scary! Scary that I didn’t know, scary that I even had those thoughts in my mind.
We’ve lost control of our essence of what it means to be human. To be social through contact with the outside world and everyone in it. We go to dinner and what do we do? We sit at a table with loved ones and instead of speaking to each other and forming valuable insight on our lives, we sit on our phones. You’re not alone, look around the room and what do you see? Everyone on their phones. The dad at the other table…looking at his phone. The young child sitting across from you…watching a video, on his phone. The waitress at the bar scrolling through facebook…on her phone. All around you, people on their phones. What happened to the family dinner where you sit and talk about your day? How do people find out what their children did in school or who they are interacting with? I’m assuming, from their phones.
It almost makes you question how we lived our lives without this wonderfully distracting technology.
I remember in high school that the coolest person was my friend with a pager. We were always waiting to see a page go off and he would leave us to find the nearest phone so he could get in touch with his contact. More than likely it was nothing he needed to leave us for of course! It was just that distraction that enticed everyone around him. Was this the start to our need for finding distractions in our day?
It’s odd that our everyday lives have to be filled with distractions to get us through the day. What do we do when we are at a doctors office and we have to spend time in the waiting room? We scroll through our phones of course. When was the last time that you saw someone actually pick up the random magazines that are in the waiting room? Which always confused me to begin with. Who decides which magazines that they subscribe to anyway? Is there a consensus taken at the initial opening of the practice? Or does the doctor simply say, these are my favorites so I’m going to put these out?
I feel like the invention of the iPhone was the point that pushed us into this obscure notion that we have to constantly be looking at our phones and touching them. I remember my first Nokia phone later in high school. The most exciting thing that I could do on it (besides early forms of texting and actually using it for calling) was play simple games likes snake and Tetris. When I got my first iPhone when I moved to Florida, it felt like everything changed! I had a brand new world opened up to me and I was in complete control over what forms of communication I would have. Do I need to travel somewhere? Why get a navigational system when I have my iPhone? Need to look up the time that a restaurant opens but don’t have a computer in front of me, use my iPhone.
This pandemic has made me really think about what the world would be without the cell phone. Where would we be as a society? Would we be forced to actually stay and talk to the people around us? What would we fill the void with when we had a spare five minutes? Am I crazy for thinking about this? Maybe we all would be better off if cell phones didn’t exist. We would have dinner with loved ones and actually talk about our day. We would spend spare time actually thinking about life and the world around us…maybe even be a bit more creative. I love my phone and everything that I get with it, but surprisingly my favorite times I’ve had in life have been when I sit my phone down and just enjoy. So what to do now? Let me pick up my phone and look up, “what to do with spare time” on google. I’ll get back to you when I have the answer.