“You’re the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing when I go to sleep”, wrote A.G. Henley in her book The Scourge. If you think this is a cheesy dialogue by a hopeless romantic, think again.
This one line perfectly sums up the one-sided love affair we have with our ‘beloved’ smartphone.
All good things come in small packages, and like it or not, the mobile phone is the best package we have ever received. We may love it or hate it, but we certainly cannot live without it. The fact that the world now has more mobiles than humans stands testimony to this.
The smartphone is a reason we stay connected and informed. Many a time, it acts as a facilitator of relationships — be it falling in love, staying in love, and even getting married.
It has always been there for us — when we make daily video calls to our loved ones, watch space launches, shop online, pay our bills. It is an endless list. It is our companion and camera in travels and events.
Ironically, I am writing this post using my mobile, and you most probably will read this using one.
It is extremely entangled with our life, so much so that it is like a drug and we crave for it. It has become an extra limb without which we do not feel whole.
We would rather immerse ourselves in the phone than socialize even when we are surrounded by family. We get panic attacks if we misplace or lose our phone. We tend to read on mobile even if the newspaper is lying in front.
The dopamine-driven games make us couch potatoes, and we end up googling yoga for beginners and keto diets to become healthy.
The most worrisome aspect of it all is that smartphones are making us dumb as per the latest studies.
We tend to reach the mobile to perform even simple calculations. We do not try to remember stuff like a grocery list or phone number because there is no need to. Every ting sound distracts us, and our fingers itch to get hold of the phone right away.
Have we stopped to think about what will happen to our cognitive abilities if we continue to be this way? Have we ever thought about the inadvertent message we send to our next generation who hunch over their phones already?
We spend so much time on the phone, that we need additional apps to control our usage and cure this text neck syndrome. If only there were mobile deaddiction centers!
The mobile is a friend for some and an enemy for others. We may never break up with it as it is a necessary evil.
Can we at least not live in a toxic relationship with it? Can we not lose ourselves in its madness? Can we treat it the way it deserves, like an object, a frenemy and not as our better half?
It is never too late to start the digital detox, enjoy that sip of coffee away from the screen, sleep to your heart’s content, reconnect with yourself, and even pick up a new hobby!