Aren’t smartphones great? Look at the ease with which they allow us to connect.
Well, that’s one argument. In reality, smartphones seem to be taking over our lives, disrupting our ability to connect with other people and interact in actual, present moments.
The term phubbing has recently been coined to define the human behaviour of ignoring someone in favour of your smartphone. This nasty little habit is contagious (reach for your phone and see how others follow suit).
It’s evident in the office, business meetings and school grounds. There is nothing worse than making a presentation to a group of people, to have half of them actively engaged in their smartphones. I used to take it personally and as a measure of their level of engagement in my pitch. I’ve now realised it’s rude but compulsive behaviour.
It’s more than just the avoidance of social interaction. We’ve come to rely on our smartphones for practically everything – basic arithmetic, checking the time and storing the telephone numbers of those we love. I battle to recall the contact numbers of the people closest to me. I’ve managed to misplace my smartphone on more than one occasion and then been unable to contact home. It’s ridiculously dangerous, and I’d lose my marbles if my kids were to do the same.
Take cognisance of your smartphone habits. No phone zones in the house or phone-free dinners are a great start – but you can do better than that. Quite put your phone away! And please, don’t download an app that monitors your cellphone usage – surely you can see the irony in that?