Society is still going through growing pains while attempting to figure out how to deal with the reality of being constantly connected to the Internet. However, cell phones have become a more pervasive distraction, especially since touch-screen versions hit the market.
The easy access to your online life has blurred the lines between what’s real and what’s merely electronic signals. This gives rise to new problems for us to overcome. Because cell phones are probably here to stay, it’s important that we address these issues now.
More Screen Time, Less Face Time
Many younger people engage in important, meaningful communication via text message. They’re beginning to use digital communication in place of sitting face to face with someone.
Youths that spend less time practicing their communication skills in person become more socially awkward young people with less confidence. They often stumble on their words and interactions.
Constant social failure can encourage them to stay in front of their screens and avoid people, leading to poorly developed social skills. This will hurt avid phone users when they step into the real world and look for jobs, where they will be forced to communicate in person.
Interaction and Addiction
These days, social media is a staple of communication. It’s a convenient addition and replacement for face-to-face conversation. This technology is a useful tool when used in moderation, but it’s becoming harder for consumers—both young and old—to unplug. The ability to keep in touch with others at any time you wish is exciting and stimulating.
Seeing “likes” on your social media posts causes your brain to release dopamine and gives you a sense of accomplishment and recognition by your peers. This feel-good feedback loop creates a sense of dependence and addiction to phones.
The desire to always be in touch with social media and our friends and family finds its way to drivers. Replying to a quick text while cruising on a quiet road or checking social media at a red light creates unsafe and distracted drivers.
What’s more concerning is drivers’ passengers can distract them with their phones by holding the phone in the drivers’ peripheral vision to show them a funny picture. This can lead to accidents that cause horrific injuries.
Looking to the Future
Smart phones have given us connectivity, convenience, and power. They solve many issues society faced in the past while creating new ones. Figuring out how to deal with the drawbacks of modern technology will be a crucial component of how our societies evolve.
As cell phones continue to take over our lives, it will be more important than ever to make sure we take measures to keep users safe.
Although it might be impossible to live without one of these devices these days, they don’t have to consume our entire lives. Instead, we can find ways to keep our loved ones safe while taking advantage of the convenience that comes with this technology.