Smartphones make people dumb

When I was doing my post graduation, one of my professor’s told me that Smartphones are making people dumb. And at that moment, I thought what the hell he is talking about and more of how can a person holding an  I-phone talk about this. I didn’t had any opinion because I never used smartphone for twenty five years of my life. Of course thats more a reflection of my financial status than on my hatred for smart phones.

I’ve given this a bit more thought. The issue isn’t so much smartphones per se, but our increasing reliance on mobile technology combined with an irresistible cocktail of social networking. A cocktail in which there are incentives for constant participation or sharing of information, as well as incessant information “snacking.”

People will ask, Why are you writing this when you are greatly active on Social sites also. And perhaps they are right. But simple answer to that is I know when to turn it off. I am not against the use of them but you should be the master and they should be slave rather than vise versa. They are a great help to connect friends who are far away but its foolish when people in the same room use them for interaction.

To give an example of how technology kills the mind, five years back I used to remember numbers of every relatives and friends by heart. Today, if I have to call my mom I need my mobile for her number.  And my grandmom at her age still remember all of our mobile numbers. So something has gone wrong. When i used to write in books I knew most of the spellings but now after every paragraph i need a spell check. My point is that technology is great and you should take the maximum advantage but you should not be over reliant that you can’t call or write a letter if technology is not there.

The most dangerous part about this is how it is effecting students. I teach in engineering college and everyday students are caught using mobile in a class. And more dangerous is that instead of talking directly they are interacting with friends of same class on mobile phone.  Its a well known research that states that more use of social networking have resulted in person being more stressful , anxious. To check it out yourself, Just text your best friend on Whatsapp and how anxious you fill when it shows that he has seen the message but haven’t replied. Everyone of us have gone through this anxiety.

I still remember myself reading for 4-5 hours continuously with out break. Today, after every 10-15 minutes I check my mails, phone. It is a serious reduction in concentration levels. I stayed outside my home for 6-7 years and still remember every night of conversation with friends. Going out with friends after mid night.  People will remember the talks and time spend together. No one remembers what we chat few days back. Its a emotion less activity. You can’t even see the person on other side is interested in chating with you or not.

You only need to walk into a restaurant to see supposedly mature adults at tables mindlessly texting or “liking” and sharing, rather than engaging in focused conversation with each other.

You only need to go to a public park and watch people stare at their tablets or phones rather than take in a beautiful summer’s day watching the marvels of nature or to people watch. Or ignoring priceless works of art displayed at a museum, instead fixated on their business calendars and corporate emails when they are on vacation.

You only need to observe your own children at family gatherings who would rather be texting peers of their own age — frequently in the same room with each other — than having to communicate verbally with anyone.

Is this the society we want to create for ourselves? Talk back and let me know.