Whilst you’re reading this I have no doubt that you are clutching your mobile phone or have it within arms length, and if you don’t you’re now thinking about where you left it. Over the past decade technology has taken us on a long journey, possible to Neverland, where we will never return. It has over taken our daily lives (Archer 2013), we spend more time with it than any other person or object. Forget the dog, Siri has become Mans best friend.
Dr Dale Archer suggests that we rely on our mobile phone to do and say absolutely anything and everything, ‘I love you’, sexting and now there is a niche group of iPhone photographers. What alarms me the most is that 20% of young adults check there phone whilst having sex…sorry, what?? Our smart phones are now imbedded in every aspect of our lives, however taking technology into a private setting like this just seems absurd.
I’d also like to touch on the notion of nomophobia the fear of not being with your mobile phone. For some, forgetting your phone, running out of battery or having limited reception is equivalent to the end of the world. And sadly, I do agree that there have been times when I feared for my life when I couldn’t feel my phone in my pocket (now I pretty much carry my phone in my hand every where I go). This kind of attachment to devices is a disease that is spreading though society and is latching on as strong as possible. It has become a social norm that we must be attached and connected at all times. I have also touched on a social disorder named the fear of missing out in an earlier post on my blog, you can access it here.
Sherry Turkel’s Connected but Alone ted talk suggests that we are now finding companionship with technology, I am guilty of this and I’m sure you all are too. Who can’t say that when they see someone they don’t want to talk to they frantically reach for their phone to avoid conversation. Admit it, we’ve all done it and Turkel’s quote ‘we are lonely but we are afraid of intimacy’, is a stark reminder that we are avoiding social interaction. Technology has further lead society astray by allowing the term friendship to be redefined by a virtual friend request, ‘social networking sites give us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship’ (Turkel 2012).
Our intimate connection with our devices has lead to this once private technology now being overused in public spaces. This has caused much debate in society and retailers are fighting back. Workers in cafes and shops across Sydney are refusing to serve customers who are talking on their mobile phones, saying it’s rude and they deserve more respect (Whyte 2013). It’s a basic human respect to pay attention to someone when they are speaking to you.
This addiction is not only ruining our social life but it is also injuring us. Walking and text we’ve all done and we’ve also all run into something, whether it be and object or a person and watching thousands of people do the same thing over and over gain on YouTube makes it an extremely funny experience. Brick Lane, a London street has become infamously known as ‘cushion lane’ after the number of texting injuries.
A number of apps have also been introduced to reduce the injuries associated with our modern use of technology. Type n Walk uses the camera of your phone to display the path in front of you whilst you text and the other uses Xbox360 Kinect technology to detect objects and warn you whilst walking.
However this is an issue that needs to be fixed. An app may cure our injuries but not our addiction.
OMG I just got fined for texting and walking. Northern Territory police are fining those who are caught walking and texting under traffic regulation 18, walking without due care. This is a serious issue as you are not only putting yourself but others at risk too.
We need to put the life back into life and reduce our use of our smart phones.
Archer, D 2013, Smartphone Addiction, viewed 25/09/2013, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201307/smartphone-addiction
Turkel, S 2013, Connected But Alone, Ted Talk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7Xr3AsBEK4
Whyte, S 2013, Bam mobile phones, reatilers say, viewed 26/08/2013, http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/ban-mobile-phones-retailers-say-20130703-2pbzr.html