Magazine topic: 
Science and technology

Are we addicted to our smartphones?

by : 
KatiedeS

As part of the 'Facebook generation', we have grown up in a world where access to the internet is constantly at our fingertips and we're able to connect with people at the touch of a button. Nowadays, it's become increasingly common to offer guests the wifi password along with a cup of tea when they come round to visit. We have become addicted to our smartphones.

Of course, smartphones are undeniably useful and have revolutionised our lives in so many ways. Thanks to thousands of apps available to download, we're now able to do almost anything when we're out and about. However, it seems a shame that these addictive pieces of technology are slowly beginning to take over our lives. It's so easy to become dependant on our phones, whether it's to find your way around with the map application or even just check the time. As a result we're becoming more anti-social, choosing to consult the internet rather than talk face-to-face with other human beings.

Even when we're socialising, it seems most of us struggle without our phones at arm's reach. Phones were invented to keep us more connected, and indeed they have done just that. We can now get in contact by an endless list of social media outlets, yet this means we're starting to lack genuine contact with each other. People are connecting more and more across screens rather than in person, even when it comes to relationships - dating apps and websites are more popular than ever before. Recently, an artist released a series of images depicting people in social situations and edited out their smartphones and tablets. The result was a collection of powerful images that have, perhaps ironically, gone viral. They force people to wake up to the fact that we are no longer interacting properly with each other.

I'm not to say I'm any better (as I write this my phone is sitting across from me at my desk). However, I'm trying to use it less and less when I'm out and about. When I first arrived in France I didn't have any internet on my phone and it was actually quite liberating. Rather than constantly checking my phone for messages or searching for directions, I was forced to talk to people and find my way around independently. Next time you're out with your friends, put your phone away and see how long you can last without it.

Discussion

Are you addicted to your smartphone?