Why I Think Smartphones Could be the Death of Humanity
As part of a new series on the TigerMobiles.com blog, I’ll be penning my thoughts on technology and where it’s heading.
The first post in this regular feature looks at why I think smartphones could spell the end for humanity and why I think the iPhone has replaced the dildo as the sex toy of the 21st century.
Ever since smartphones became mainstream I’ve single-handedly seen people develop the compulsion to check phones and the need to stay constantly connected to their wider social network comprising of people they’ve never met and most likely never will do.
This need to be connected withdraws those people from the present and disengages them from real in-person conversations. This hinders empathy and has a detrimental impact on social skills.
Thankfully I’m not the only one who’s noticed the smartphone generation suffering from severe compassion deficit; an excellent study aptly named ‘The iPhone Effect: The Quality of In-Person Social Interactions in the Presence of Mobile Devices’ looks at this lack of empathy in depth. It’s definitely a recommended read.
As much I love smartphones and believe me they play a major role in my day to day life I can’t help but feel they undermine the character and depth of our face-to-face interactions. Whilst smartphones allow us to manage several loyalties – work, family, friends – all at once, at the touch of a button. They also breed the state of ‘absent presence’ whereby people drift away into the technologically mediated world of elsewhere. We are now in a generation where there is a constant urge to seek out information, check for communication and direct our thoughts to other people and worlds rather than those in their company.
iPhone’s are really the new dildo, and they represent a slow-motion car crash in terms of lack of human empathy and ability to interact with one another. Rather than pleasure you in the traditional sense; these devices vibrate in your hand and tickle your imagination instead. Steve Jobs is, in reality, the inventor of nothing more than a dehumanising sex toy.
A True Conversation Killer
Having personally sat at the dinner table with people who need to check their smartphone constantly. I can say without question the quality of conversation is dire and empathy drops significantly.
If you’re one of those people who are sad enough to need your phone in your hand when sat with friends, you are far more likely to miss subtle cues, facial expressions, and changes in the tone of their conversation, and have less eye contact. It’s really quite pathetic and unfortunately, I’ve lost friends over it.
All I can conclude from my findings is that if as a nation we keep using our smartphones as emotional crutches or barriers to real connections, we’ll be in a very dangerous place. However, they’ll certainly be a useful means of population control as more people turn completely asexual.
Parents Have an Added Responsibility
One of my biggest pet peeves is parents who spend more times on their phones than with their kids. I am sick and tired of seeing inattentive, iPhone-consumed mothers and fathers who have their phones out at meal times and whenever they are in their child’s company.
How is a child supposed to learn empathy, understand facial expressions when they get zero attention? All they learn is the feeling of being unloved and playing second fiddle to a gadget.
And perhaps even worse are the Scummy Mummies who buy their children smartphones at ridiculously young ages. It is akin to feeding them giant chocolate bars or junk food for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week just to keep them happy.
Sadly, as the popularity of smartphones amongst the young increases, their ability to process and understand the imaginative apprehension of another’s mental state is diminishing considerably. I think there is a danger we are sleepwalking into an unhealthy future and parents needs to get their act together quickly.
But I do worry it might already be too late, I walk through Leeds City Centre daily and I frequently see groups of young people standing together and each one of them is looking at their phone like a Zombie and not conversing with the people who they are standing with. It is really quite sad, the technology we create to bring us together drives us further apart.
We can’t afford to fail another generation so we must start teaching kids in the classroom how to integrate technology into their lives so that they don’t grow up like zombies who use their smartphones to replace all real human interaction.
The government must take a look at how we can support parents and kids to be more engaged with one and other. It will help create a healthier nation and no doubt have a positive knock-on effect elsewhere in terms of less obesity and more kids playing sport in the great outdoors.
I speak from experience here as I was using my smartphone heavily, not in social situations, but on an evening at home. It lead to me putting on weight and becoming extremely anti-social. I was spending my evenings reading meaningless tweets and emails when I could have been doing something far more productive. I limited my time on smartphones to just 1 or 2 hours a day, joined a Tennis Club, lost 2 stone in weight and feel 10 times better for it. I bet many of you could do the same…