When life changing technology is released to the masses there are always critics warning of the great social dangers that will occur. Today I was listening to a radio interview with a woman arguing that smartphones are taking away the opportunities for the younger generation to learn how to verbally interact with people, and that something should be done about this.
Maybe it is bad, I don’t know. But there isn’t a way to say for sure unless both scenarios were played out with the same exact circumstances. The main issue of contention is how everyone reverts to their smartphone when there is more than 2 seconds of mental idle time and for the majority of their communications needs.
Much of what people believe in is biased to what they are used to. I’m sure there were arguments against the mass ownership of telephones and televisions when they first came out. Maybe telephones were detrimental to society but no one wants to go back to carrier pigeons. The telegram messenger would have had you believe that their service was crucial to society because of the face to face contact, relationships that were built and the number of jobs it provided. No one is mourning that loss today.
We might be better off living the hunter gatherer lifestyle because it would force us to eat healthier and live a life more aligned for humans but we like Netflix, refrigerators and polio vaccines.
If you believe in the saying, “actions speak louder than words” then what constantly pulling a smartphone out says is that your other available sources of entertainment are not as stimulating. We’re a society that gravitates towards what we want rather than what is better for us as humans.
The argument that the overuse of smartphones is detrimental to society is based on the comparison to what older people value from their era. There aren’t any 20-year-olds out there going on a smartphone strike because they think it takes away from their quality of life. Hardly anyone would want to live in an era in the past they never experienced because without the nostalgia, past eras seem like dog shit in comparison.
Arguing that the overuse of smartphones is going to take a negative toll on society is assuming that society will be similar in the future. Smartphones may be turning us closer into robots but maybe that’s the future and this is just a step towards that destination. A place in time that we can’t imagine just like how 30 years ago the masses could not imagine the type of technology we have today.