More and more people are becoming reliant on smartphones these days. My own adult daughter is often glued to her smartphone—just like many other adults, teens, and children. In fact, I recently learned that most people, when presented with a hypothetical situation in which they could only choose to keep one of their electronic devices, would choose to keep their smartphone. The smartphone won out over tablets, laptops, and even gaming devices!
You’ve seen them. You know what they look like. Because they are always looking down at their phones, you rarely see their faces. Instead, all you see is the top of their heads. They hardly ever look up to say hello or offer a smile. Sometimes, provided they are not harmed, they amuse us by walking into a door. At other times, we watch in horror as they walk unawares into traffic or into a steel pole.
The Huffington Post recently published a list of all the negative effects that smartphones have on us. Many of the negative consequences they listed are the ones that we typically expect. For example, they mentioned the culture of self-absorption that frequently taking selfies on smartphones has created. They also mentioned how people who are constantly on their smartphones not only tend to miss out on spending time interacting face-to-face with friends and family at social gatherings but they often also tend to miss out on developing relationships and networking with coworkers at professional events.
However, what I found most interesting was that the Huffington Post also listed many negative consequences of smartphones that we don’t typically consider. For one, smartphones negatively impact our ability to focus during the day by encouraging us to be multitasking constantly. They also affect our ability to focus because even just the anticipation of receiving a new text message at night can sometimes keep us from sleeping soundly. In addition, with smartphones, many of us are forgetting how to complete basic tasks such as reading a map for directions, calculating a simple 20% tip, or even writing an email without using autocorrect!
We need to be smart about how often we use our smartphones. We should set examples for our children early on in their lives. We cannot let them become obsessed with their smartphones. The smartphone is a wonderful tool for communication, but always remember, so is the voice box God has given us!