The first smartphone, as we know them today, was released in 2007 by Apple. Now, almost a decade later, we are tied to our smartphones. Especially millennials, who seem to be born for using smartphones. And it’s not just me who is saying this: studies also show it!
According to a survey released by Bank of America, 4 in 10 millennials confess they interact with their smartphone more than they interact with their own families. The survey concludes that millennials( aged between 18 to 34) interact with their smartphones more than anything else or anyone else ! Another report, this time by Experian, showed that 77% millennials own smartphones and spend more than 2 hours a day using them. This is more than any other age group and reveals a significant change in millennial’s behavior.
As half of all millennials say they couldn’t live without their smartphones (according to a Pew Research Center survey), I made an effort to remember how was my own life before the smartphone entered it.
And YES, there was a life before the smartphone, as older millennials, who know the “joy” of owning a Nokia phone and the struggle of catching a couple of hours of decent Internet speed on the dial-up, will remember.
Back in those times, technology was not that easy and we lived our lives AFK and away from (smart)phones. While the millennials are connected to the news and the Internet, they are disconnected from life and I have found 5 simple situations to prove my point. Here are some pure joys of life that were completely changed by the invention of the smartphone.
1. Having a meal
Since the humanity managed to craft a table and put some food on it, the eating time was also talking time. Since the arrival of smartphones, most people now eat mindlessly, swiping and texting on their devices. There are no more interesting talks carried out on the table, as everyone is trying to connect to the strongest WiFi.
2. Driving a car
What are people doing the second after they stop at the red light? They browse their smartphone, looking to unlock the iPhone 7 or get a glimpse of the latest joke online. This is the case for drivers, but the car passengers are browsing their smartphones the entire ride.
Before we had the Wi-Fi at our fingertips we used to chat in our cars. Back then cars were never silent, as we used to joke, talk and sing for the entire ride. We used to communicate, as well as, admire the scenery.
3. Watching TV
Few people are aware of the fact we now consume media via 3 different channels, at the same time: we watch TV, we play a game on the tablet and read the news on the smartphone. The TV time is now multitasking time, which means we only drain our minds and eyes, instead of actually watching a movie or playing a game.
4. Concerts and events
Social media is great for sharing personal experiences, but it has a strong negative influence on our lives, as it prevents us from actually experiencing life! When you attend a concert or an event, you will see how 90% of the audience is trying to record the moment, capture a photo or a video.
There is nothing wrong in shooting a couple of photographs, but recording the entire event and sharing it, then texting to your friends, simply prevents you from actually attending the event! Recently, people had been asked not to bring their smartphones with them at concerts, in an attempt to prevent the “sea of smartphones” phenomenon and have people watch the show they’ve paid for.
5. Spending time with friends and family
When you hang out with your family or friends, the smartphone should be left aside. However, nowadays, everyone is interacting more with the mobile devices than with the persons around. The smartphone managed to intervene between couples, in their very bed!
Parties are now much quieter than they used to be, as everyone is browsing social media or doing other things with their smartphones. This lack of face to face communication puts a toll on our lives, making it harder for us to actually communicate with other people.
Without the smartphone, many millennials feel they don’t have anything to talk about, which makes them socially awkward in the long run.
I certainly miss the times when my friends and I gathered around the table and chatted about everyone and everything. There were good times, which are not going to come back anytime soon.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com