It was not so long ago that mobile phones did not even exist. It was a quite Era, when children walked alone to school without parents checking on them every hour, when the landline phone’s ringtone was not only the warning that your grandmother was calling you for the third time in a day; when on a road-trip with your family you probably got lost the 99% of the times using a good old map. Every time was an adventure: your father would have probably started shouting at the motorway signs and your mother sitting besides him repeating -I told you we should have turned to the right- endlessly; while you were probably listening to some Emo music on your walkman, because it was the good old times of CDs, when CDs were still considered to be cool.
Now, can you remember the last time you saw someone using a map or playing a cd?!
Everything became much easier with the introduction of smartphones, even the name kind of tells you that you do not need any other device because they already know what is essential to your survival.
Today there are apps for everything: if you get lost in the woods or there is a blackout do not be afraid, your phone has probably got a torch; if you need a cab it will arrive without you even digit a number; if you did not have the time to buy a newspapers you can get every updates anyway in real time.
Even if you are in a foreign country and need to measure your body temperature,because you feel sick and did not bring a thermometer, there is an application that allows you to put your phone’s screen under your arm and measure it; just make sure you are not borrowing your friend’s smartphone because maybe he is not going to be so happy about that.
–Ask and it shall be given to you– said Bill Gates in one of his conferences to launch iPhone, or maybe not…but sure it is what iPhone aims at.
Especially when Apple came out with Siri for iPhone4S and users finally satisfied their ultimate desire of talking directly to the phone, asking questions or giving orders to it.
Siri comes from a Norwegian name which means “beautiful woman who leads to victory”…sweet Siri, someone you can control with your voice without ending up in an argument.
Unfortunately, it is only an application and you cannot have a proper conversation with her, but it will definitely be improved in the near future, as Spike Jonze predicts in his new movie HER, where the protagonist (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with Samantha, an artificially intelligent operating system.
The Business Insider reports that 1 on 5 people in the World owned a smartphone by the end of 2013, and tablets are keeping up with it: 6% of global owners in only two years from their creation.According to a recent study, we spend about 90 minutes of our day on the phone which means 23days a year, the overall of 3.9 years in an average person’s life.
If you are among those who: as soon as they wake up in the morning check their phone or even set the alarm on it;the ones who read news on the small screen; who cannot wait around without looking at it pretending they are busy; who cannot go to bed without their phone on besides them; you might want to be careful you could end up being a serious smartphone addict.
A cyber zombie is someone who every time he is engaging a conversation with another person needs to check his phone and he spaces out when he receives a message, does this sound familiar?!
Even if you are not that obsessed with your smartphone, it probably occurred to you to experience “nomophobia”: the fear of being without a mobile phone; the anxiety to feel out of touch and isolated which brings the smartphone-addict to carry a charger everywhere he is going to.
Time magazine reported that the average person unlocks his or her phone 110 times a day which amounts to 10 times a hour on 11hours of “working” daily life.
If you are an average smartphone user you will spend on your phone 28% of the time talking, 21% texting, 17% social networking and the rest in other useful tasks like surfing the web or playing Candy Crush.
Does anyone remember what were we doing before the invention of mobile phones?how were we employing all this time wasted on this technological device?
Maybe doing small talk with a stranger on the bus, writing a letter, helping someone on the street that we would not have noticed if we had our eyes only on our phone’s screen.
Today, the idea of talking to a complete stranger only for the fun to have a nice chat is considered very odd by the general opinion; instead, starting a conversation over Facebook with someone you never met in real life to ask him/her out seems perfectly normal.
Many applications have already been created to satisfy this new approach to dating, the most famous one is Tinder which functions on a basis of “Hot or not”. Basically users can see photos of potential matches and they can swipe right to “like” and left for “nope”, you get a match and the possibility to send a message only if that person liked you too, otherwise you would “keep playing”.
I thought that an average person would not even have the time or had something better to do than pressing his/her finger on strangers’ faces, but apparently Tinder counts 500million swipes a day with 5million matches out of it, so there must be many bored people out there.
Moreover there are many other applications that you can upload on your smartphone for free; if you are struggling to approach people, such as GoGoDate Hit the Road, which locates the nearest date or someone you can meet while you are traveling; maybe if they will ever make the third sequel of “Taken” women’s traffickers will be using this app in the movie.
If we only could turn our phone off even for a day, we will probably appreciate the smallest things in life, we will be more sensitive about what is going on around us, we will give a deeper meaning to our words.
This hunger of communicating nonsense by hiding cowardly behind a screen needs to be replaced with real communication: the bravery to speak one own’s mind preceded by the strength of silence due to thinking.
Reality means also being by our own sometimes. This new “smartphoned life” teaches the individual that -he is- only when he objectifies himself, only in the day-and-night relation to the other users through applications such as Viber, Snapchat, Whatsapp : “I text, therefore I am”.
But we are not a mere picture, we are more than a swipe on the phone; we are the books we read, the adventures we experience, the problems we face, the people we love and there is no app able to give us all of that.
Ironically, because of this constant overexposure of the self, it seems that we are never alone and yet we have never felt this lonely.