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Are Smartphones making us smarter?

August 4, 2010 by  
Filed under lifestyle


smartphoneYour day begins early, and whether early is early, or early is afternoon, on the way to work or to play something begins to worry you, something is missing. Presumptions lead to paranoia and, after checking each pocket, portfolio, and underneath each car seat, your paranoia becomes an unwanted reality. You’ve forgotten the device that was created to help you remember all your important dates, numbers, and notes and without it you are nearly useless. You’ll now be forced to use the outdated, bacteria-infested box that for many people entails embarrassment as much as the opportunity to make a phone call – the dreaded public phone.

The smartphone is indeed a very smart phone, much smarter than phones from the past, but placing our social and professional lives in its microchips doesn’t leave you with much to do when you accidentally leave it at home. Not having it can leave you feeling anywhere from naked to totally useless. There is an unrecognized reliance on these battery powered devices that enables us to use less memory. It is a hand-held box of information that has raised university exam scores across the world. Students have been known to use them for answers to questions they did not study for. The smartphone is meant to make things easier but when things get too easy, people get lazy and laziness is one of the key factors that takes the genius out of human beings, by isolating their efforts to strive for the answers or at least attain a mere understanding to their inherent curiosity.

The smartphone’s fail-safe technology, barring some sort of satellite interruption, will always provide the answers to necessary and unnecessary questions and demands. For the rest of the world who doesn’t have to worry about overflowing Rolodexes and misplaced files, their smartphone obsession and their ‘thumbing’ actions must be slowed down. If evolution has anything to say on the subject, before we know it all the texting, tapping, rolling, and thumbing will cause future generations to grow oversized opposable thumbs that will be grotesquely disproportionate to the rest of their hand.

With the introduction of the smartphone, the world gets the greatest practical link to information on a global scale ever created; all this and it fits nicely in the palm of our hand. The smartphone is an important tool that makes life easier in the technologically dependant world that we humans created. Einstein once said, “It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity.” What he meant is that our ability to make the smartphone has outpaced our ability to make peace. At this pace, how easy will life get before it becomes too difficult to live peacefully? Rest assured, the iPhone by Apple is a highly advanced piece of mobile machinery that will overshoot expectations and please any user with apps that are very useful on an everyday basis. Whether you’re trying to find free parking or looking for the best pizzeria in town, the iPhone will tell you what to do, where to do it, even what to eat.

If money is your glorious game and business is your notorious name, the Blackberry is the smartphone for you. Most corporate cats are using one right now. It is the performance-inspired device that allows you to reach your full potential in the business enterprise. Without it, the day can be disastrous.

Some of the kids who fall into Generation Z, also known as Generation I (the Internet Generation born between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s), have never set foot inside of a library. As I sit in front of this ‘radioactive typewriter,’ something us Generation Ys (born between 1982 and the mid-1990s) learnt about growing up,  I reminisce on the tranquil and serene environment found inside libraries lined with books you can hold in your hand. Like Catholic mass for my generation, we should all go to the library at least twice a year because having to work a little for works of literature that some authors spent their lives creating seems more fair than simply budging our little fingers and still being able to tap into so much knowledge on our smartphones. What technological advancement will they come up with next that will confuse baby boomers (born 1946 – 1964) and go completely unnoticed by the Silent Generation (born 1925 – 1945)?

The truth is that true answers might be found in our smartphone but real-life experience helps us truly discover who we are, what we like and dislike, as well as what is important and irrelevant to our lives. How much could we learn about ourselves if we logged off and shut down our smartphones for a year?


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