Your smartphone may not be the best companion after all.
Our obsession with smartphones has taken a toll on interpersonal human touch. Technology is a double-edged sword: as much as smartphones grant us connectivity, they also place us at risk of isolation. While we continue to enjoy the ease and skyrocketing entertainment value in communication, we must be cautious to not allow technology to undermine our relationships. Here are five signs that will tell us if we have already crossed the line.
1. No-no to “no signal”
Whenever the messages stop coming in, paranoia kicks in. Without hesitation, you check the phone’s network connectivity just to be sure that it is indeed working. Once dislodged from the constant online connection with your social network, you take a deep dive into a sense of lost and emptiness. Simply put, you fear being cut off from the rest of the world.
2. Scroll like a pro
While it was once considered a bad habit to scroll through social media feeds when with company, this ritualised behaviour has found its place among our society’s norms. “Multi-socialising” is a new skill that you have likely acquired – being able to accommodate both the physical presence of your company and online happenings simultaneously.
Whenever a conversation turns saturated and stale, you will not even try to keep it going. Instead you turn to your smartphone and traverse into your own little virtual world. No wonder the phone-stacking game has made its rounds around the globe, yet we fail to recognise the game as a tell-tale sign of our overly-zealous obsession with smartphones.
3. Sharing before eating
You are probably already part of this “insta” consumption culture that has plagued the local youth population. Your meals’ aesthetics have been endowed with more importance than the actual taste of the food; never mind how yummy (or not) it tastes, as long as it is shared and “liked” by your followers.
On a further note, if you have been selecting your food choices based on how “insta-worthy” they are, you might want to renounce your identity as a manipulated social creature on a streak to satisfy the appetite of others.
4. Texting only, no talking
If you have vivid memories of rejecting phone calls (or not picking up intentionally) and sending messages back in hopes for a text-based conversation instead, you are seeking way too much solace in texting.
The comfort of texting can hardly be disputed. Unlike face-to-face conversations, texting grants time for response where you can delay obliged responses (pretending that the message was not seen) and even craft them as you deem most appropriate. While this preference may have its advantages, shying away from face-to-face conversations is unfitting; just imagine a conversation-phobic world where we do not talk in real life anymore.
5. Meet-up? Sure, come online!
Taking point four a step further, how many times have you rejected or postponed meet-ups because you felt that virtual ones are just as good? Amidst constant communication with others on the myriad of social media platforms, you have come to equate physical meet-ups to virtual equivalents; you feel that sessions on Skype, LINE, and Facebook messenger do not fare any worse than having some actual get-together time.
If these points sum up your everyday life, start reclaiming some “smartness” back from your overpowering smartphones.
So do yourself a favour: put your seemingly larger-than-life devices away, and have some exclusive non-smartphone time for your loved ones and yourself.
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