In this age, there is an emotion called "lonely in connection". I realized it on a rainy day, feeling empty while holding my phone in hand, looking at the "green active on-off button" continuously, and wasn't able to find a person to text. I keep surfing one website to another, all superficial and tasteless.
Deep down, I know what I really want to do, of course, not surfing the Internet. The true feeling of happiness that I crave for is not the likes, shares, and meaningless icons on Facebook. That day, I decided to leave my phone in the room, have a walk in the park near my house, and I realize that smartphones have taken away more from me than what I got back...
Smartphones are changing us to zombies.
Warning about the harmful effects of smartphones is everywhere on the Internet: children using smartphones are at risk of autism, light from smartphone's screen makes users lose their sleep, Facebook increases the risk of depression, smartphones increase the risk of traffic accidents, even deadly cases because of "living virtual"...
So what? The truth is people still use them: Use them until they become addicted!
Even though smartphone users have hundreds of reasons to justify why they are looking at their phone, such as "updating information", "keeping connection", "working" ... the truth is they only do so as the result of reflex, of the habit has been deliberately "trained" by phone makers and software developers. Today, the software works so well that even an illiterate child can use smartphones and become addicted.
Smartphones are turning us into technology zombies that only know how to act reflexively.
And day after day, the comfort of smartphones gradually turns us into technology zombies, acting instinctively by habits and very little thinking. We go through this website to another website, read the crap, post status to talk about bullshit, wait for likes and shares unconsciously. We jump continuously from email to Facebook, to Instagram, to YouTube. We aspire to interact, eager to receive notification from any source. We plunge into stimulating loops - reflexes from the phone, so if it is silent, our lives will also stop.
And maybe for some people, their lives will stop if smartphones disappear!
The problem of smartphones right now is not only addictive but also making things simpler and easier. Instead of saying "I like your opinion", we click like. Instead of saying "thank you", we drop and release icons. Instead of retelling our own experiences, we take a virtual live photo and use a "deep" caption. Instead of texting people to ask them, we're just surfing on the notification ... And then instead of taking pleasure from human interaction, we become addicted to virtual interaction between people and machines. We like just to like, surf Facebook just to surf Facebook ... We don't connect for real connection, but because we can't stand the feeling of being "disconnected".
I want to finish my article with a story about an experiment. It was the early 1950s, American psychologist James Olds discovered the area that governs the feeling of satisfaction in the brain of mice. In one experiment, he placed the electric pole on that part of the mouse and connected it with a button. The mouse can press the button to satisfy itself. As a result, the mouse repeatedly pressed the button, not caring about food and water, until it died of exhaustion.
This story may sound funny, but actually very similar to the behavior of smartphone addicts. Increasingly, smartphones and applications within it are optimized to give users quick "rewards". They are fast food, which can give users instant gratification.
But in the long run, addiction to smartphones will not bring anything good for the spirit and emotions of users. Because human is a strange animal. It needs to experience sadness, suffering, loneliness, hostility, effort ... to be able to connect with each other and enjoy the full joy of life.
Just by putting down the phone, staying away from the easy satisfaction that smartphones bring us, accepting real efforts, embracing the complex and lively mind behind each one, then we will have a real sense of life, real connections, and real happiness.