Figure 1. Digital devices disruption (Gosh gee golly 2012)
From family meal . . .
Figure 2. Digital devices disruption (Kevin 2010)
to friend reunion . . .
Figure 3. Digital devices disruption (Sarah 2014)
to dating . . .
Like really guys? There are all good times of reunion, and look, people are all wrapped up in their digital devices, electronically interact with the rest of the world.
Yes! In this blog I want to talk about Internet addiction through digital devices, something that has happened to me and I guess it has happened to you too! So as weekend I met up with a few friends. There were six of us in total and some of us haven’t seen each other for years. We met up at a restaurant, we sat down, we had tons of things to catch up on and immediately people started taking out their phones. Some put it on the table; some checked their messages, Facebook, and whatever could be checked. Then I looked around and I noticed everybody else was doing the same thing. And at that moment I was actually getting bored even before we could start any conversation. I know sometimes I can’t be. Since I do act like that sometimes and trust me! I was as guilty of it as the guy sitting next to me who had been using his Ipad. But digital devices are taking over social interaction and the point is people actually wouldn’t be aware of it until they see others doing it and they obviously become one of the victim.
Taking this as my personal experience, I suddenly realized that I have always focused on my phones. As anywhere I go, I always get my hand in my pocket, then I look down, I check in, I do something as I got to do it on my phone. Is it too late to realize that people are more likely to spend less and less time on social interaction? Again, when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is check my Ipad. When I go to bed at night, the last thing I do is check email. Even when I go for a pee, I always have my phone in my hand to check on Facebook, read news or just simply wait for something as a habit. Sometimes I wonder what point makes that happen? As it is getting so bad for me, personally, as sometimes I feel like there is a vibration in my pocket, like my phone is ringing. Consequently, I immediately check on it. It’s just like I can’t be alone on that.
Figure 4. When do people check their phones? (Tamara 2012)
It is undeniable as we are living in the age of the Internet, the age of Information; digital devices have become so prevalent in our lives, as much as they interrupt it. Sometimes, to be able to engage with them is an exchange of our real relationship with a live human sitting next to us. Clearly, the Internet has changed the entire world in almost every aspect, but it really rules our lives when digital devices such as smartphone, tablet, etc. came in. According to Joe (2012), before smartphone or tablet, people only accessed the Internet about five times per day. But now, with the explosion of high technological devices, we access the Internet more than 27 times per day. This data was 2 years ago, so I am 100% sure that this number is a lot higher now.
The fact is the more we depend on our smartphones or tablets, the more we distract from anything else (Joe 2012). For example, reading a book would be much more peaceful and focusing without a phone beside. Like people really put their mind on the paper, but at the same time they automatically turning their phone screen on to check on something else, as a habit. It has come into being a culture. Yes! We are living in the Age of Information but in another light it is actually the Age of Distraction.
As I mentioned in the previous blogs about what Internet have brought to mankind and how amazing it is, however nothing is perfect. It is a two-edged knife for who misuses it, as it is always the case. Human beings are weird creatures; we know it is not the right thing to do. But somehow we still got to do it. So we seek for reasonable reasons as specific positive feedbacks to such constant activities such as checking email, social networks such as blogs, forums, Twitter and Facebook, surfing web. That’s how we relieve our minds, as it is not that bad to do. That’s why it’s so easy to be addicted to being connected and distracted (Bryan 2014).
The forever problem is how could we fix it?
I am, myself, as a technological device addict did try and succeed. Now is your turn. But before playing the game, tell yourself that you are the only one person in the world who can help you out of any situation, as long as you want to. Human power is limitless. As hard as heroin addiction, people are still able to detoxify.
Figure 5. Stop smartphones from interrupting your social interaction (Sam 2012)
Here we go!!! As it is clearly showed in the picture above, this game has three simple steps.
- Before you even start a meal or any reunion, put your phones on the table, face it down. Then stack them up!
- No one could be able to touch his or her phone – even if it is ringing or vibrating or even chiming.
- Finally, who touches the phone before the meal is over, that one will pay the whole bill.
That’s it! It might be really annoying at the beginning when you first try, yes, I admit! But then you will realize how amazing it is when finally you can be able to comfortably enjoy a meal or a chat, not to bother about what is going on in the phone. Just give yourself a little space to think of some real values in beautiful relationships around you. Only a few hours or minutes not to touch the phone simply shows the one sitting next to you a little respect, then you will realize many more things that words can’t even describe.
Gosh gee golly 2012, “Turkey Day”, image, gosh gee golly, viewed 28 March 2014 <http://www.goshgeegolly.com/ggg/shgeegolly.com/2012/11/turkey-day.html>.
Sarah, L. 2014, “BYOD Now More Important to Workers Than Coffee”, image, LANDESK, 5 March, viewed 28 March 2014 <http://www.landesk.com/blog/category/mobile-device-management/>.
Kfolta 2010, “Scintillating Dinner Conversations”, image, kfolta, 30 December, viewed 28 March 2014 <http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2010_12_01_archive.html>.
Tamara, Y. 2012, “Are you addicted to your smartphone?”, image, search cowboys, 26 June, viewed 28 March 2014 <http://www.searchcowboys.com/mobile/1950>.
Joe, K. 2012, “We are creating a culture of distraction”, Joe Kraus, 25 May, viewed 20 March 2014 <http://joekraus.com/were-creating-a-culture-of-distraction>.
Brian, A. 2014, “ Put Down That Cellphone! Study Finds Parents Distracted by Devices”, NBC News, 10 March, viewed 28 March 2014 <http://www.nbcnews.com/health/parenting/put-down-cellphone-study-finds-parents-distracted-devices-n47431>.
Sam, B. 2012, “Force Smartphone Addicts to Pay for Your Meal with This Ingenious Game”, Gizmodo, 1 June, viewed 28 March 2014 <http://gizmodo.com/5873684/force-smartphone-addicts-to-pay-for-your-meal-with-this-ingenius-game/all>.