Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 17:57

The most dangerous drug of addiction Featured

By
Drug of Addiction? Drug of Addiction? PIXABAY

A few weeks ago I left the house and while driving realised I had forgotten my smartphone. It was not a good feeling – I felt disadvantaged and disconnected. Yet, as a younger man, I happily travelled around the world with just my wristwatch and a backpack. What has happened to us since those days?

The short answer is that the smartphone has become a drug of addiction and, like all addicts, we have become hopelessly dependent.

Although I realise that some might shrug and find this analogy mildly amusing, I would venture to suggest that like other drugs of addiction, smartphones are contributing to the devolution of humanity.

Smartphones are making us dumber, less dexterous, less capable, more insular and less creative.

If you’re a younger millennial or generation Z person by now you’re probably thinking I’m a crazy old coot not to be taken seriously. That’s quite understandable because you have probably never known life without the device that you carry on your person at all times.

You have also never known a world without the Internet, social media, messaging or other downloadable apps. To you, these are as essential to your daily functions as hot and cold running water.

That said, you have also never composed a handwritten letter and mailed it to a friend or family member. You probably don’t have very good handwriting because you don’t get much, if any, practice. The art of calligraphy has been declining since the late-1950s, its descent went into overdrive with the advent of the PC, and the final nail was driven in the coffin when texting became the preferred form of communication.

However, it’s not just handwriting and the ability to compose thoughtful well-written letters that have become casualties of the mobile devices age.

Young people now communicate largely by text sound bites – although sound is a misnomer because they don’t actually talk much. They have never known a world where they call each other on the home landline phone and talk to each other’s parents or siblings before being passed on to their friend for a long voice chat. Instead they simply text each other using abbreviated language or they leave posts on Facebook.

Walk into any café populated by young people and chances are you will see a sea of faces looking down into the screens of their smartphones while they tap furiously away with both thumbs. They would prefer to message someone or post something to Twitter or Instagram than talk to the person sitting opposite them.

And while I was driving without my smartphone, I thought that it was fortunate that I knew where I was going because if I was venturing into a strange part of town I would be lost without the turn-by-turn voice instructions from Google Maps. In my younger days, of course, I would never have been lost because I would have planned my route in advance using my hard copy street directory that I always kept in the car.

Reading maps and planning routes may seem so archaic to young digital warriors, but it trained my brain to learn the layout of large parts of my city. Each time I ventured out to a new place, I had to concentrate and learn the route. As a result, I got to know my way around, unlike today where everything is so easy that I don’t have to think because I can rely on a computerised voice to tell me how to get where I want to go.

addiction 3558963 1280

Of course, in future we won’t have to worry about getting from A to B in a car because it will drive itself and we will all just be passengers. Eventually, we will no longer be able to drive because we will forget how and our cars will not give us the option of taking the wheel anyway.

For those of us who don’t want to drive, the smartphone is such an amazing device because it has already solved that problem – Uber, Ola, Grab, Lyft and a myriad other ride-sharing apps abound. Of course, you need to have enough cash in your digital wallet to pay for the journey and, eventually, the cars that come to pick you up will be driverless.

So, in a few short years, we would have literally gone from being a population of active drivers who know how to navigate their way around town to passive passengers who are happy to let mommy mobile deliver them door to door – if we can afford it.

And for the growing numbers that no longer see the point in even venturing out to the nearby KFC or McDonalds, there is Uber Eats and Deliveroo who will be only too happy to deliver from their door to your mouth.

The other day I awoke to find that, after months of constant nagging, my phone had managed to slip under my guard and upgrade my operating system. I noticed that along with the new software I now had Apple Pay and thus would be able to use my phone in lieu of my credit/debit card.

This, I realised, was yet another peg in the road that leads to the end game – total dependency on our smartphone. We will no longer need, cash, cards, cars, wallets, passports or keys to our home because everything will be accessible from our phone. It sounds wonderful because my benevolent government will never lose track of me, or my personal data – even if I turn my phone off.

There are now very few people in first and second world countries who do not own a smartphone and who do not carry it with them at all times. With the current pace of development — and with 5G around the corner — all of the scenarios described in the preceding paragraphs, as well as a large basket of technologies not even touched upon, will be in force before this decade is out.

Finally, some words of wisdom from long-time anti-smartphones campaigner and American actor Denzel Washington: “If you don’t think you’re addicted, see if you can turn it off for a week.”


Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Stan Beer

Stan Beer assists with Digital Advertising installation and monitoring of advert performance. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications. Any previous news story submissions should be director to editor@itwire.com and advertising enquires to andrew.matler@itwire.com

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments