12 Ways Our 'Smart' Phones Are Making Us 'Stupid'
We no longer need an alarm clock, computer, a calendar, landline, or even paper! We do not need televisions, radios, GPS systems, or even cameras. We can simply set our phone alarms, take pictures and videos, search the internet, talk, watch tv, and take digital notes on our phones. Where do we draw the line? It is time to stop and think about how much of an effect our smartphones are having on ourselves, our youth, and our intelligence!
1. They disconnect us from the world. - We are only half present now. In fact, most of the teens I know are so glued to their phones that I am more familiar with the tops of their heads as they glance down at their phones, than their actual faces. Due to our need to keep up with the latest facebook posts and other social media news, we miss out on the world around us. No longer do we have to go outside to check the weather. We simply check our weather app on our phone and plan accordingly. We are so concerned with our smartphone life that we do not know what is going on in our real world.
2. The newer generations will never know the struggle or, more importantly, have the experiences we did. - Playing outside is ancient history. Children now pass the time by sitting at their computers or looking at their smart phones, playing games, scrolling through social media, and downloading the latest apps. They have everything at their fingertips, from a camera and video camcorder to google and beyond. Anything they need is a click away. It is easier, but we forget to consider all the things we learned along the way like the value of true research, books, and field experience. Furthermore, with even the youngest kids knowing how to work an iphone, they do not have the need or want to play outside, learn about nature, and exercise--valuable psysical, social, independence, and teamwork skills that can not otherwise be taught.
3. They make us lazy. - We use our phones for everything, from learning about the latest news to researching a place before we get there. Instead of going out and experiencing things before we get there, we rely on reviews of other people who have experienced it. We can literally just sit in bed all day and utilize our phones for anything we need. You can order food and have it delivered right to your door, talk to friends, work, play games, and even turn on your television without rolling over and finding the remote with our phones. Though this may seem kind of perfect to you, think about how detrimental this can be on your health, mind, and social wellbeing.
4. We no longer have to be physically present for social experiences. - You can have a friendship, or even a relationship with someone without ever meeting them in real life. People have online relationships for months or even years without ever seeing each other in person. Old friends from high school? No need to actually meet up to catch up. Just pass by their facebook page for the latest update, or check out their latest tweet. Instead of going to see our neighbors, family, or friends, we catch up by texting them or checking their latest instagram photos to see what they have been up to.We feel as though we are still closer than ever, but are texting and online relationships the same? We facetime instead of being at our children's plays, send a Happy Birthday text instead of stopping by in person, and shortcut "I love yous" to our loved ones by texting, tagging them, or commenting on their pages. Does it give the same meaning though?
5. It causes us to let our guards down. - We look down as we walk the streets, completely oblivious to what is going on around us. We could endanger ourselves or others while crossing the street or even walking on the sidewalks if we fail to pay enough attention. Even when you are talking on the phone, you are not completely aware of your surroundings any longer. You may fail to notice someone following you, or hiding under your car as you approach it. Someone can easily remove something from your pocket or steal your purse without you even realizing it. In this day and age, you always have to keep your guard up. If you don't, you can put yourself in danger. So next time you are in a parking lot late at night, think twice before you take out your phone. Pay attention to what is going on and stay safe.
6. It distracts us. - Someone is talking to us, but we are texting someone else. We are driving, and the phone causes us to shift our eyes off the road and onto our phone. People die every day due to texting while driving--something we did not have to worry about before. We know the text can wait; we know it is not as important as our lives. But still, today, we are more focused on getting things done right that second and having everything at our fingertips at each moment, that it causes us to shift our focus from common sense for a moment, which is unfortunately all it takes.
7. We no longer have to utilize our brains for random knowledge such as phone numbers, birthdays, or events.- Instead we store it in our phones and forget about it. If we lose our phones, we are distraught. We lose everything, and we have to start all over again. It is almost more tragic nowadays to lose your phone than your loved one! It is convenient to have everything in one place, but if our phones break, or even die, we are simply lost. The fact is that you should remember your sister's phone number and birthday because it is important to you. But I have learned that more and more people have to check their phones for almost everything, and it is truly disheartening.
8. We can literally be illiterate and do just fine in life. - You do not have to know how to talk or type. Spell check, punctuation, and capitalization are key now and heavily relied upon. Don't know how to spell something? No problem, Siri's got your back. You no longer have to worry about it because your phone will simply fix it for you. Siri can translate things for you, so going to a new country is fine as long as you have your phone. But if you rely on this and your phone gets lost, then what are you to do?! You can google anything in a matter of seconds, so that you do not have to actually store anything in your brain at all! No need to learn the proper use of their they're and there or how many c's and m's are in accommodate. Simply type in something similar and your phone will correct it for you.
9. Shortcuts are taking over our lives. - With shortcuts such as ROFL, IMHO, SMH, and NBD, not only is it extremely lazy but we spend more time figuring out these meanings and making up new ones that we have no room in our brains for more important things. =) But OMG we need to stop this. In fact, the last thing kids should be focusing on is finding shortcuts for the Engligh Language. They are having enough trouble keeping up with proper sentences and structures! Besides these shortcuts, we say luv instead of love, u instead of you, and sometimes even entirely type out what we are trying to say in the form of emojis. It is impersonal and starting to pour out into our real lives. (I have read these shortcuts on resumes, applications, and school work!) We need to learn where to draw the line!
10. Hashtags make us look stupid. - You've seen the video of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon making fun of #hashtags, right? If you haven't, you really need to stop what you are doing and check it out. It literally describes what our world is turning into. Hashtags were created to group a bunch of related topics in one area, and it is true that it can be useful on social media. However, with hashtags such as #omgicanteven and #wearesmilingbecausewefellbeforethispicturebutthenhadtostopandholdaposeandtakeapicture , it simply loses its purpose. I am all for grouping phrases together in one place, but it is getting #crazy to say the least.
11. Selfies... - You post status updates simply to get the most likes, pick out outfits based upon what your online friends will think, and resort to the silliest of poses to capture how much "fun" you are having at an event. But perhaps the worst thing about smartphones is the amount of pictures that are in there of a close up of your pouty face. What is worse, is the amount of pictures you have to take to get the one you actually like. I am not going to lie, I have taken a picture or two of myself when I dress up or if I like the way I did my makeup that day. But I have done this long before they were referred to as "selfies" and I do not post them for all to see. Where I draw the line though, is when I see people standing in the middle of a store, sidewalk, or event taking a million pictures of themselves. Have you no shame?
12. Instead of living for yourself, you live for other people. - What I mean by this is that many times, people long to go on vacation, go for brunch, or go to a concert because they heard about their friends doing it on social media. They want the world to think they are interesting too and therefore they must run out and hashtag all about it. People go places to simply post about it online. The first thing my friends ask me when we are out somewhere is whether they can tag me or not. Next comes a group selfie with hashtag #drinkswiththebffs. Along with this, they spend the entire time taking pictures and finding the best filter to post to instagram, rather than being mindful of the world around them and enjoying themselves while they are there. Instead of being present in the moment we are only partially there. The other half of us is learning about other people's lives on social media or bragging about where we are and what we are doing. It is time we take a pause and think about how much our lives have changed, both for the better AND the worse, due to smartphones. Where does the dependence end?