Hey smartphone, you’re fired!

Wish I could say that.

You’re probably holding it now reading this article. You’re likely to get interrupted before you reach 75% by something more interesting - a group message on WhatsApp / a post by a person you stalk on Facebook / Instagram photos of how your friend enjoyed a vacation in Rome / a tweet by your rival / a call from your family.

None of above? Then, its beside you, not more than a feet away. The notification light is blue. Something’s waiting your attention. Your hand involuntarily reaches to pick it up and its right in front of you now. You are connected to the world. The next 10 mins you’ll deeply immerse yourself in what you’re interested in. And after that, it’ll make you a new person with new perspective and a different outlook towards the world.

Facts (2018)

  • Age-group 25-40 spends average of ‘3 hours 35 mins’ per day on their smartphones.
  • Age-group 15-24 spend average of ‘4 hours 10 mins’ per day on a smartphone
  • Age group less than 15 surprisingly spends an average of ‘4 hours’ per day on smart devices

This data is collected by cutting-edge advertising companies who make a living by studying more of you. They also know when you are likely to pick your smartphone to make most of your attention. Some stranger giving you importance more than you deserve is something indeed. You are happy.

Last evening, I found this gentleman sitting in the park. For 30 mins, he looked at the road, sometimes the sky, sometimes the pedestrians and just sipped coffee. He was passing time doing nothing. How could he do nothing? He should at least have looked at his phone. He was insane, i think.

I wonder, what were we doing in those frequent 10 min sessions (accumulating to 3 hours / day) when these cute little 6 inch babies where not our life partners? I think we did nothing. We just continued doing a simple task without being interrupted, that’s it. Later, smartphones urged us to take short breaks to keep ourselves updated with ‘current affairs’ which reach us in 1/10th of a sec from anywhere in the world.

The break time gradually increased from a few minutes to several minutes, and now to several hours. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology of these devices and cheaper prices, every person now possesses a industry standard computer more powerful than an early IBM mainframe. The ecosystem is so big, a person has to live 26 times to consume all the content available in the world through the smartphone.

With so much power to unleash, how is that man from the park doing nothing at all?

The other side

I, and 95% people around me, live inside a smartphone today. I’m glued from the moment when the morning alarm rings till the following night when I set the alarm for the next morning. The hand misses it if its too long and the neck is probably going to default itself to tilted down in a few more days.

Family outings are like sitting beside a river and looking at our phones. Smiling and posing only for the smartphone camera for later posting them on Instagram. Looking at the sunset through the screen of the phone. Getting lost in the woods and clicking for sake of showing off on Facebook.

At home, the TV stays on, and everyone are deeply immersed in their own phones. None of the neighbours know each other. The kids don’t play outdoors. Dogs bark, but no one cares.

Festivals are all about dressing up for photos. Clicking selfies with the deity for posting on social media. Meeting with friends only to tag presence in a famous place and to show off non-hostility in the society.

Thanks to the smartphone.

Like it or not, we’re now slaves to this little monster. It is as harmful as any other addiction in the world today and no one is going to prohibit it. Its a win-win to everyone at absolutely no costs. Its predicted, by 2030, an individual will spend 50% of his life looking at digital medium. The smartphone will be upgraded to a digital eye lens embedded inside your eye for free. 70 percent of life experiences will be virtual. Imagine yourself on Mt. Everest laying on your comfortable couch among all other inaccessible things within your reach.

This is termed “progress”. Hell yeah!

On the other side, did the man sitting idle in the park choose not to progress? Or did he choose to live?

Aaaa…aaah forget it, he surely was insane.