May 25, 2014

Smartphone addiction and the doom of society and relationships

Every time I see one of those videos so popular nowadays: friends at a table in a restaurant, all of them checking out their phones; or in the tube, all of them playing a game in their phones; or in bed, the couple checking their smartphones and ignoring the depths of love blinded by the latest technological advancements, and then... “Oh my god, this is the end of society, the end of human emotions and genuine human connection.”

Banksy's Mobile Lovers

I think that is bullshit. Nothing has changed in the way people behaves since probably the H. neanderthalensis/H. sapiens evolutionary divergence. Those friends at a table would not be talking even if samrtphones didn't exist, probably they don't have anything to say to each other. What better way to spend the commuting time to work if not playing flappy birds, 2048, or whatever silly game. Smartphones have changed nothing and in many ways have improved life tremendously. That couple in bed... they are probably going to break up soon. If a couple check their phones in bed when they should be doing some more interesting activities, it only means that there is an underlying problem in the relationship, the phone is not to blame.

Nothing has changed, people, nothing at all. Before current technology, when the first hammocks became popular and men and women started swinging back and forth and taking naps, some people probably thought, “this is the end of our society, culture, and tradition... now they lie down in the hammock all afternoon doing nothing, when they should be having complex social interactions, being happy, laughing, frolicking, and holding hands. It is the doom of society.”

And look! It's 2014, we're still here.