Smart Phones and Dumb Humans

Smart phones have become a commonplace device. When I was young, if I was late to reach somewhere to meet my friend I used to say

“I am sorry my friend, the bus was late” or “Oh I couldn’t leave my house on time, sorry” .. That’s it!

Now a days, when someone gets late, there is a string of arguments given,

“Oh I tried to call you that, I am getting late but, I didn’t have the network range or couldn’t call you!”

“There was no Uber/Ola cab nearby.. so it took time”

“This place wasn’t showing up on google map or address on google is wrong”

“Oh sorry google map messed up  and showed me the long route”

and the best (worst) of all

“I sent you message on WhatsApp that, I will be late didn’t you get it!?”

Let me ask you a simple question “Don’t you think more people come late today than some years ago, despite having all sorts of facilities at disposal?” I am sure, all of you must have witnessed these kind of conversations at least once. Everyone knows it is dangerous to talk on phone while driving is risky but, many of them do opt to talk on the phone while driving. Can there be a dumber cause of death than selfie? Looking at the current situation, where we rely too much on the smart phones and machines, I am coming to the conclusion that “Phones are getting Smarter and Humans are getting Dumber

Everyday (horrifying) scene on the streets ..

This has nothing to do with using the technology to the benefit. But, what concerns me is that we are relying too much on the smart phones. I find it amusing that, we decide which restaurant to go for lunch, based on rating given on the application rather than actually experiencing it first hand. We send someone birthday greetings over chat or Facebook but, never call. On the streets I find more people sunk in their phones than actually traveling. If you travel in a bus or subway take a look around (stop looking at your phone for a moment) you will see almost everyone wearing earphones doing something on their smart phones!

This a common scene today [src -https://pixabay.com/en/broadway-station-phone-men-subway-1675207/]

The chatting applications are good to convey the message. But, today we are gone so far that we chat more than we converse. Conversation is the real thing and not the best usage of emoticons! There are families who send each other chats sitting next to each other or in the next room. I have nothing against social networks. Rather it is a good way to keep in touch with your friends. The question is ‘Are we keeping these social networks as they should be? or we are making it a necessity of life?

Today we spent more time in thinking ‘which emoticons will fit in?’ and think less about the emotions themselves.  We have limited the conversation to number of characters in the text. Everyone knows when you say (type) tc  you don’t really mean it!  We have discovered all sorts of shortcuts to convey common things like gm, gn, thx, imo, lol, lmao, k (!) etc. but, we are going far away from everyone who care about us. We are literally becoming islands , isolated and lonely.  (Unfortunately)This is where we are standing today!

Addiction of Social Networks is literally killing us!

This isolation gives birth to illusions and we have started building our own virtual world which is completely disconnected with reality. The phones have become so smart that, they tell us what to eat? but, we don’t listen to our mother and avoid junk food. They tell us how much to eat? but, we don’t listen to our stomach anymore. Then they tell us how much to work out? They count the heart rates, the number of steps while walking or distance covered while jogging, where to invest money? what’s happening in world? and thousands of such ‘notifications’. Which are filling our brains with so much rubbish which we can’t use.

We are going to see these boards everywhere in coming days

Another thing that has made people dumber and prone to accidents is Selfie. I am not against selfies, please do read this article to understand what I mean to say.  But, just the alarming number of deaths and accidents due to selfies makes me believe that Smart Phone really is a stupid box. I honestly think getting hurt while taking selfie is the dumbest thing one can do. There are phones which have 20+ megapixels camera on the front. It is another industry that is thriving on selfie madness. Selfie stick was invented to take selfies. Every month there is a new version of selfie stick just like the smart phones.

Teens getting addicted to Phones is a dangerous sign

The issue is not with the technology but, with the stupidity which it brings out of human brain. The boards which say “No Selfie Zone” prove my point. There are people who cut their veins to play the a phone game like Blue Whale. People getting into freak accidents while looking at phone continuously while walking on the streets. I remember TV Set was called Stupid Box when I was young. Smart Phone is the Stupid Box of today. Here’s why

  1. There is a whole industry thriving in the name of “Cell Phone addiction rehabilitation”
  2. 47% of people receive call while driving and 20% of respondents had near miss situations – ref article
  3. In USA, 1 out of every 4 car accidents is caused by using phones while driving esp chatting – ref article
  4. About 60% of world’s selfie deaths occurred in India – ref article
  5. More than 130 teens committed suicide in Russia and many more in world while playing a game – ref article1 article2
  6. More kids play with phones and tablets instead of real sports
  7. Many more unlisted/unreported deaths due to depression caused by excessive use of social media, games, chatting etc.

When I was in school I wrote an essay titled ‘Technology Boon or Curse?’ Honestly there is no Yes or No answer to this question. It really depends on who is using it and how? Today, I see many people spending thousands on heavily loaded smart phones for almost doing nothing worth. When I see car drivers texting while driving, bikers holding phones between ear and shoulder and talking while driving, freak accidents on railway stations due to usage of headphones or while playing games like Pokemon Go etc. I am sure that answers to following questions will confirm my thesis that, Phones are getting Smarter and Humans are getting dumber.

  1. How much time do you spend on your phone on an average in a day?
  2. How much time do you spend browsing nothing?
  3. Do you prefer calling even if it is not so urgent?
  4. How much of the total time do you spend in chatting?
  5. Do you chat in classrooms or during meetings?
  6. Has it occurred to you that you don’t hear warnings/honks because of earphones?
  7. Do you get angry on others when you can’t finish a level in a game?
  8. Can you resist yourself looking at phone while driving if it makes a notification sound?

Smart phones have definitely made our lives simpler. For many of us it has brought banks into the pockets, tickets booking made easier, calling help (ambulance, doctor) easier, but, “Are we getting carried a way a bit too much!?” I can’t resist asking this question again and again everytime I see someone talking on phone while driving. And whenever I see such a person I definitely believe there are Smart Phones and Dumb Humans around!

 

Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion. Autodesk my current employer is not responsible for my views. I encourage discussion, debate so please leave your comments questions in the comments section.

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