With the evolution of smartphone technology, people are now able to complete a number of important tasks conveniently on the go. The problem with completing tasks on the go, however, is that many people try to complete tasks while doing other important tasks that require more focus, such as driving. Despite the ways that smartphones have made many things in life more convenient, they have also made some significant negative contributions to human society.
Distraction is one of the most obvious ways smartphones have left a negative mark on society. Remember the days when families would sit around the dinner table and talk about each other’s days? These days, family members are more likely to be multitasking at the dinner table between eating and scrolling through their social media feeds or texting friends. Ironically, smartphones have given people a way to connect more with the people they don’t see all the time, but at the cost of neglecting the relationships we have with the people right in front of us.
With the ability to be entertained at any moment with the tap of a screen, people with smartphones have also become firmly ingrained in an entitlement society. Students sitting in classrooms across America struggle to be engaged with what’s going on in the classroom in a way that people who grew up without smartphones never experienced. Even though they’re often reminded that their learning is important, students often find that almost anything they can do on their smartphone would be more interesting than engaging in what their teacher has planned for the day. Texting their best friend in another class or posting their thoughts about how bored they are on their social media accounts means that, whatever is going on in the classroom, students aren’t fully engaged in their learning, and they’re missing out.
Furthermore, with entertainment never far away, people aren’t using their imaginations as much as they once did. Before smartphones, people were able to practice mindfulness, the ability to be thoughtfully present in the moment. Now, instead of being mindful of their surroundings, people are occupying their time and their thinking with apps and activities on their smartphones. Research indicates that boredom often leads to creative thinking, but smartphones, for many people, are eliminating even the possibility of experiencing boredom.
Smartphones have certainly made many things more convenient. The ability to pay bills online, connect with people around the world, or find out new information at the touch of a screen are just a few of the ways smartphones have benefitted their users. While convenience is great, people need to realize the ways smartphones have negatively impacted society and respond accordingly.