Our lives in the current era are so closely intertwined with smart phones that there is a false sense of them being an absolute necessity. Since the time human life started on this planet upto a couple of centuries back, there was no electricity and people lived their lives with only food, water , shelter and clothing recognized as absolute needs. Of course, all technological inventions and machinery used then worked on mechanical and non-electrical sources of power. But then with the passing of each decade and man learning to harness electricity from various sources, life started to become more and more easier. The boom continued over time till the nineties arrived and with it the internet.
Before the internet was introduced, computers only acted as tools for storage of information and large scale computations thus helping humans manage large corporations and companies. The internet revolutionized human life like never before and its use for instant communication and easy acquisition of knowledge made it a global force and a unifier of humankind in the real sense of the term. The computers sat on desks and humans had to go to them to connect with the virtual world through the internet.
With the advent of smart phones in the 21st century, we now have mini computers glued to our hands and it is as if we have grown an appendage and these phones have become an extension of our selves. While smart phones really have made life very comfortable with almost everything available at the tips of our fingers, they have also been responsible for sucking us into the virtual world and keeping us there for most part of our waking time. Social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others have kept people hooked to their phones; it is not surprising that a human nowadays on waking up in the morning hunts for his mobile first to find out about new happenings in the virtual world and even carries it into the loo. Opening and checking various social media apps on the phone throughout the day is an addiction that people are not able to get out of. Posting “selfies” or checking what some other person is doing at a particular time of the day seems to be of utmost importance to phone users. Rather than recognizing the fact that we are biological organisms with biological and emotional needs, more and more humans are escaping into this make believe world not realizing that they are developing an addiction which is harmful in the long run. It hampers the development and nurturing of interpersonal relations, makes a person lose touch with reality and makes a person a slave to the “smart”phone.Are we smart enough to keep the phone in our control or is the phone that is keeping us hooked to it day in and day out “smart”?
The decision is ours to make.
By: Prof. Akila E.