Science & Technology

Is the excessive use of smart phones really smart?

“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master” Christian Lous Lange

Ever since the invention of the computer we have had a lot of benefits. From being able to type quicker to playing games to the internet, it has increasingly become part of our daily life. Now we need it like we need to breathe. However, like taking drugs, it has become an addiction.

We don’t realise the downfalls of this new technology because we feel we can’t live without it. People are always on their phones whether they are at home, at work and even children in school have started using phones.

I once went with a family for celebration of the husband’s birthday to a restaurant. No sooner had they placed the order, the husband and wife brought out their phones. Even when we were eating, they were holding their phones in one hand and eating with the other hand. Meanwhile I and their children just concentrated on finishing the food.

Although I wasn’t surprised but it still saddened me. People are so much busy, either checking their mails or being on social media that they don’t pay attention to their environment.

As with drug addiction, one can’t spend a day without looking at the phone. People are always conscious of posting something and waiting for any likes or comments. I once saw a news where a man had an accident and he was begging for help but the people surrounding him were only interested in snapping his picture to post on the social media. In anger, the man attacked one of them and threw the phone on the ground.

This shows how heartless people can become because of no human interaction. Everyone is always ready to take a picture or a video and will want to be the first to post and would be expecting likes and comments. Without doing these things, they become depressed and anxious.

There can be other problems such as back pain because of being hunched over when we use phones. This is due to pressure on the spinal disks. It can also cause disturbed sleep because at any time you can receive an email or someone can call. You can’t just switch off your phone even in the night.

The children nowadays start using phones even before starting school. They are able to play games, use the camera and surf the internet. It reduces physical activity as they just sit in their rooms and spend unnecessary time on the phones. Although parents do buy phones for easier communication still the children are more vulnerable to the negative effects. They may not pay attention in class. Even at home, they can isolate themselves from their family and may not concentrate on their studies.

The best solution is to try to reduce the usage of smartphones. It’s not easy but not impossible. Parents should watch their children and not allow them to take phones to school. The more people become aware of the side effects, the more they will try to adjust to the situation.   

Garima Nabh is the founder of New Age Magazine.

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