Professor Cynthia Pastrana
13 February 2019
The Phone We Love and The Humans We Love
In the digital and technology age, the computer and the smartphone are becoming a major component in our daily lifestyle. According to Pew Research Center, there are 95 percent of people in America who own at least one smartphone which enormous increasing percentage rate from 35% to 77% to the year 2011. The phone is becoming a new best friend for many people including me. We sleep with the phone, we eat with the phone, and we go everywhere with the phone. The phone we love has many positively impacted aspects of our lives, including efficiency, entertainment, and access to information. However, people did not realize of how much loving the smartphone can deliver negative impacts through the humans we love as well as our relationship with ourselves, our friends, and our family.
The smartphone can ruin our romantic relationship. It is strange that the phone can make us meet new people and date others, but at the same time it’s also damaging our relationship. It is so often that happens to me when me and my partner are together, we are just looking at our phones without talking. It is awful that many couples notice that other person is there and always there when they are needed, but never take care of each feeling. The smartphone becomes more invasive, more attractive, and high demand in our time. It connects us around the world. The phone makes us feel careless about each other, more care about what on the phone. Perhap people forget how to interact the old fashion way like Face-to-Face which is what we need in our life in order to make a healthy relationship, we need to be talking, supporting, and presenting for significant other. As Sherry stated it on her article who is a professor in the program in Science, Technology and Society at M.I.T., “We face a significant choice. It is not about giving up our phones but about using them with greater intention. Conversation is there for us to reclaim. For the failing connections for our digital world, it is the talking cure”,” how to prevent our romantic relationship from ruining by smartphone? Easy, first we need to set up some phone usage rules such as “No phone” zone while having dinner or hanging out with your partner. Second, try to sleep without having phone next to you. It is nice to checking on social media before the bed, but it would be nicer if we talk to the partner instead. It might even help people sleep better and improve our romantic moment. Last but not least, keep the phone away from the table while having dinner and having a conversation at least away from phone distraction.
The smartphone can take a toll on friendships. Since the number of smartphone owners is increasing, it affects the amount of smartphone usage becomes a lot larger. Surprisingly, the smartphone usages took over interacting in communication. Many situations from my observation, people are not having any conversation but prefer to spend time on the phone instead. Referring to my experiences with my best friend, she always wants to hang out with me and spend time together, but most of the time she will look at her phone either chatting with someone else or checking around the social media or talking on the phone. I understand sometime friends can get very comfortable when they are around with other friends, then they are forgetting about their friends’ feeling who are sitting next to them without realizing that they are too attach with the phone. More than one time that I argued with my best friend about using the phone while we spent time together. It made me feel uncomfortable sometime when I am with her, it told me that she cares her phone or someone else more than me who is sitting with her. More than likely, I would disconnect with her after we hung out; it felt meaningless and unenjoyable to look at best friend who always face down at the phone. People have missed to engage and interact with their colleague while texting. Texting is very convenient for us to reach anyone at any time. Since we are having phone in our hand everywhere and the applications are ready to use, perhap they are expecting us to reply the text right away. There is an issue about slow replying text since today the phone is so accessible and acceptable in our life. As Sherry stated people are having less patience, expecting the world to respond an app, quickly and efficiently. However, texting can go wrong since the receiver cannot know the tone and mood of the sender; there are so many emojis to express the feeling and that could misunderstand from different perspective and circumstance. The solution of this problem is be more engage Face-to-Face, have more conversation, and spend more times with friends instead of looking at the phone because you can get a new phone if you lost it, but it is difficult to find a real friend if you lost one.
The smartphone can have a negative influence on parenting. Today, the family dinner does not look the same as it used to be. We used to have fun by watching the television and discussing about the day together. Smartphones become our new fast food which is a fast phone when there is a notification from the phone comes in either the text from someone we love or from social media which there is a lot of situations going on in there, we tend to left off to different and ignored the food on the table. Smartphones and social media make people addicted to it just like drugs and alcohols. In my experience both from the workplace or in the public, parents allow children to have an iPad or iPhone for play game or watch cartoon when they are little. Surprisingly, they are as little as 2-3 years old. From my perspective, sometime I see the season why they bought these devices to their kids; avoided their kids to run around or be attracted to something else when they are too busy with their own life. It is a parents’ fault, because parents are the one who teaching their kids to love these devices and they cannot stay without it even when the family have dinner together. Many times, the children are crying for the smartphone and they become more aggressive when the parent do not give it to them. However, not every child agrees with the ways their parents treat them. According to “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk” article where Sherry had a conversation with a 15 years old girl, “her reaction when she went out to dinner with her father and he took out his phone. “Daddy”,” she said, ‘stop Googling. I want to talk to you.’ A 15-year-old boy told me that someday he wanted to raise a family, not the way his parents are raising him (with phones out during meals and in the park and during his school sports events) but the way his parents think they are raising him with no phones at meals and plentiful family conversation.” In my opinion, children will feel loved when their parents are paying attention to them; otherwise, they will have a difficulty in behavior and emotional. There are ways to fix this issue such as leave the phones in other parts of the house on silent while eating dinner as a family including parents’ phones, put all phones away to spend time with one another while having a family activity, and tell your family about upcoming activities or events directly from your mouth, not from a general post on social media.
To summarize, smartphone have so many beneficial and harmful impact in our daily lifestyle depending on different purposes. There are enormous benefits of limiting the smartphone usages by putting down our phones can improve a healthy relationship among ourselves, friends, and family, improve our mental and physical health and help us be happier and more connected with other. The most important part is we can solve this issue immediately to improve our life.
Turkle, Sherry. “Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.” New York Times, 26 Sept. 2015, online.
Internet/Broadband. “Mobile Fact Sheet.” Pew Research Center, 5 Feb 2018, online.