It was when I was asked by my housemates to sit with them and watch TV that I experienced the overwhelming power of the smart phone. There we were, TV on in the background and all three of us were sat staring at our phone screens: endlessly tapping, scrolling and swiping to our hearts’ content. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing shameful about doing this as I’m sure we all love our phone, but it shocked me that it had got to this point. Not only are we not even watching TV, we’re not even talking. Just silently encompassed in our own little world of Apple and social networking, sending silly snapchats, tweeting profusely and updating our Facebook statuses to whatever we’re doing (or not doing, in our case.)
The addiction to our phones has become something of a norm these days, with any waking moment spent with the device glued to our palm. And when it’s not, we’re praying for any sign of activity to give us an excuse to pick it back up again.
I’m one of those people that hopes for the next great picture to upload to Instagram or Twitter. I love finding that perfect tweet to send instantly from phone. Updating people on your life is what everyone wants to do nowadays. Showing off where they are, what they’re doing, what they’re eating (this is a nasty habit of mine), posting funny tweets praying so hard to get Retweets, posing in a stupid caricature style for likes and much more is life.
Whatever happened to playing with your siblings, going to the park playing on the swings, going for bike rides, playing swingball, playing “Kerby”, making rope swings, playing football on the field until the sun went down, dedicating your day to a Tamagotchi, spending hours trying to figure out how to do a Rubix Cube or making secrets dens out of bed sheets?
All of these things seem to have been replaced with one simple, small device that is no way more fun than any of those things. Childhood has been taken over by the fight to get more followers or how many likes you can get on your profile picture.
I’d chose any of those things over sitting on my phone all day, drooling because the life has been sucked out of me. Don’t use your phone to speak to friends, use it to call them up and meet them. Let the childhood activities commence.