Hello, my name is —– (every girl ever) and I’m a smartphone addict.
Just kidding, smartphone addiction doesn’t know gender, age, race, ethnicity or even socioeconomic status. Some of the worst have been male counterparts unfortunately. But seriously, college girls you’re the worst. The absolute worst.
Much has been made of our need to constantly be attached to our phones. People say it’s affecting our ability to communicate and show empathy. They attention spans are shorter and willingness to listen is even shorter before diving back into our phones.
I actually wouldn’t argue any of this. I just don’t think our phones are doing it to us. Sure, it is easy to go in and out of conversations or to not give someone the time of day when we know we can be constantly entertained by or phones.
The entertainment factor can’t be ignored, as sometimes when watching football during ads, or even during a game that I don’t find particularly exciting I will retreat to my phone for a quick fix.
When you’re by yourself, that’s your business but we just want to be stimulated constantly which we’ve grown accustomed to. Around other people, I really don’t think if you’re with friends or enjoying what other people have to say, that you’re on your phone. People do check in and out of conversations up and down from the phone to face to face but I don’t see it happen often one on one and find it’s in groups more so with the people who weren’t contributing to the conversion much to begin with.
In public is where I find “smartphone addiction” to be the least likely cause for everyone’s phone usage and what looks more like addiction than anywhere else. There is a pizza place I go to. Anyone there by themselves is on their phone, while any group is engaged in conversation. Why? The phone acts as a safeguard between you and the strangers around you. Why aren’t you talking to people or awkwardly eavesdropping? You’re occupied on your smart phone duh!
In a more public place where usually no one knows each other (the train) this is even more common. Literally everyone is on their phone. Could they be responding to an important text or email? Sure, but chances are they’re just trying to avoid the fact that trains are awkward as shit and staring across at someone you don’t know but trying to look above them is about as bad as it gets. So people compensate and show their need to be unobtrusive by digging deep into the abyss that are their phones.
As much as everyone loves to make about the constant need for technology, the smartphone boom has just gone to show how uncomfortable we all feel around strangers and how most people have an irrational fear of making other people uncomfortable. When my parents were growing up if faced with an awkward situation, they didn’t have a phone to pull out. It’s the same for a taco truck. I saw a picture where everyone in line was on their phone. That’s because no one knows each other not because they refuse to talk to their friends.