Why is everyone so Smartphone ‘appy?
I am a Google addict. Every time I have a question, I ask Google first. Here at Spark when we can’t remember the lyrics to a Moana song or are in a disagreement on how old Celine Dion really is, we “Google it”. Google knows the answer to everything. Why use our brains to remember things, when our phones remember everything for us?
It is the age of productivity. No one cares about comfort. No one wants to have their time wasted. We can now overcome the things we failed at before (organizing, taking notes, keeping a schedule). Instead of having to build these skills personally, we can rely on our phone apps to do it all for us. This has been a great boost for businesses but perhaps we are relying too much to the point where we have become dependant on Google and our smartphones being smarter than us. Our brains are becoming slackers. If you don’t think you rely on apps too much, you’re probably lying. If you have your phone beside you right now, or are using it to read this post, and you have your alerts turned on that would let you know instantly when you have a Facebook ‘like’, you’re app dependant. How long would you wait to check that alert defines how reliant you actually are.
Of course it has been great, you’ve been able to focus your time on the hard things in life without needing to waste time on scheduling and other tasks that your virtual assistant could be doing instead. But, when it comes to your personal life, our phones are only a crutch keeping us from really observing the world around us in the ways that our parents did. Our spines are slowly evolving into a curve that benefits the hunched over shoulders, we are slowly developing health issues from both the activity within our phone and the fact that there are more germs on our phones than a toilet.
Nathaniel Barr, a creative thinking professor, wrote while at Waterloo University, that,
“it’s important to understand how smartphones affect and relate to human psychology before these technologies are so fully ingrained that it’s hard to recall what life was like without them. We may already be at that point”.
Think about it, there will be a time, when the generations before us are gone (including your own age group), there will be no one around to remember a time when we didn’t have technology with us at all times. It’s scary to think about how our brains are slowly becoming more and more useless, and the possibility of future generations being born without useful parts of the brain we have now, because they won’t need them. But that’s a conversation for another time.
Need help breaking your addiction, slowing coming back to life outside your phone and gaining back some important human skills?
Turn off your notifications, keep your phone in the other room at night (let yourself sleep properly).
At work? Keep your phone out of sight unless there’s a reason you need it on you.
You’ll realize how much you actually do use you phone and feel so much better soon. Those around you will notice that you are no longer distracted by the bings on your phone and you can actually focus on your work for more than a few minutes without checking your phone or using it as a safety blanket in nervous situations.
Kimberley Falk - Multimedia Writer