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Smartphones and our addiction to them

Primavera

TRIBE Member
sometimes I wonder/worry about my addition to my phone

It's never more than a few feet from me. It's the first thing I pick up in the morning and the last thing I look at before I go to sleep.

At home I routinely need to kind of intentionally put it away to get chores or get work done. When I was tv or movies at home it often splits my attention and I kind of multitask.

If I want to read a book it can't really be near me because my paper thin attention span will need to check some random nonsense on Wikipedia or sports scores or Facebook or whatever every hour.

I fully admit it's an addition and I can't imagine now having a smartphone just sometimes it concerns me that this relatively new technology has taken over our lives.
 
Stop Bill C-10

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
You can see smartphone addiction in a raw way here in South Africa, where "airtime" costs (aka network bandwidth cost) is a becoming large part of the household budget. Not because bandwidth itself is so expensive, but because earnings are so low overall and people are starting to divert their earnings toward airtime instead of food, clothing for the kids, etc.
 

Primavera

TRIBE Member
I went to Tokyo in December, as soon as I was taking transit from the airport to my hotel I step on the train and just like a streetcar in Toronto about 90% of passengers are all staring down at their phones.

Couldn't help but be bemused that I flew 13 hours across the planet and get on public transit and the language is different and the culture is different but the behavior with smartphones is the exact same
 

Primavera

TRIBE Member
So many typos in my initial post. Sorry bout that, hope it makes sense.

'Not' rather than now.
"Watch" not was
 
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djfear

TRIBE Member
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KickIT

TRIBE Member
Well lucky for society that all kids are born into smartphone slavery today. I'm dreading the day when my daughter demands I get her a smartphone because all her friends at school have one.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
i hate smartphones. i didn't start carrying a cell-phone until 2005, at which point i was the only person i knew that didn't have a cell-phone. the only reason i started carrying one at that time was because my employer made it mandatory.

i despise seeing people staring at their phones in restaurants, theatres and while in the company of others. i call my nieces, nephews, wife and friends out on this constantly. i hate seeing phones out recording concerts and other special events.

i'm not on facebook or any other social media platform (except for tribe in case that counts), which means that i rarely need to check my phone when i'm not at work. i do not understand why folks want to stay so connected with all their friends that they must know what everyone is doing all the time, and why they want everyone else to know what they're doing. smartphones and social media has brought out an ugly side of folks that i really dislike.

i get that a lot of good can also come from these things, but i think it's outweighed on a daily basis by people turning into zombies and attention whores.
 

cosmosuave

TRIBE Member
i hate smartphones. i didn't start carrying a cell-phone until 2005, at which point i was the only person i knew that didn't have a cell-phone. the only reason i started carrying one at that time was because my employer made it mandatory.

i despise seeing people staring at their phones in restaurants, theatres and while in the company of others. i call my nieces, nephews, wife and friends out on this constantly. i hate seeing phones out recording concerts and other special events.

i'm not on facebook or any other social media platform (except for tribe in case that counts), which means that i rarely need to check my phone when i'm not at work. i do not understand why folks want to stay so connected with all their friends that they must know what everyone is doing all the time, and why they want everyone else to know what they're doing. smartphones and social media has brought out an ugly side of folks that i really dislike.

i get that a lot of good can also come from these things, but i think it's outweighed on a daily basis by people turning into zombies and attention whores.

Completely agree...
 

Illogistix

TRIBE Member
I use my iPhone a lot, and my girlfriend hates it, but I love to read and my Twitter feed is 80% journalists and publications, so I'm always falling down the rabbit hole of great writing, comedy, etc., when I am bored and looking at my phone.

It causes friction because I will zone out and read a longform piece on my sofa when she is watching a Netflix show I'm not really into, or if I am lying awake in bed and can't sleep and she wakes up and finds me looking at it. But, I am not one of those anti-social types that uses it during dinner, movies, conversations with other real humans, sex, funerals, etc. I have tact, and I think most adults do. But If I have a moment by myself or if I am watching a boring TV show, or am on the toilet, etc., I don't see the problem here.

It's an amazing tool, and it's the future, so embrace technology and realize that right now, inside your pocket or purse, is:

- Your telephone
- Your text/email device
- Your mini computer
- Your television
- Your jukebox
- Your radio
- Your book
- Your newspaper
- Your magazine
- Your camera
- Your scrapbook/journal/Memory maker
- Your calculator
- Your GPS
- Your dictionary
- Your encyclopedia
- Your own, personal newswire (if you use Twitter like I do)
- Your sports-ticker
- Your dating app (I have never used an online dating tool, but I am in the minority so I am including it)
- Your restaurant finder

This list can go on and on... When I was in grade 8 I could have never imagined this would all be mine as an adult. If someone travelled back in time and gave my iPhone and all it can do to my Grade 8 self, I would have lost my mind. I don't have kids, but I can relate to parents worrying about how to manage all that. You just have to raise them right and hope they aren't fuck-ups I guess.

I agree that many, many people use their phones way too much or during inappropriate times, but people are going to have to adapt to the new reality. This technology isn't going away. Smartphones are fairly benign technology, it's all the other stuff that people need to worry about. Technology is only going to get more and more integrated into our lives (at home, at work, everywhere you go, basically), and that's going to lead to societal problems.

Anyone remember the classic Star Trek TNG episode when everyone is playing this Google Glass-type game that gives the user seratonin blasts each time a new level is completed, and the game basically enslaves the crew of Enterprise, when in fact it is being used as a weapon by some shady character to take over the ship. It's a dramatic take for sure, but this type of tech will be within our reach at some point (25 years, 100 years?). The gaming industry is not showing any signs of slowing down and it's only a matter of time in the near future that everyone has VR in their homes. And it won't even be used for just gaming -- the latest versions of VR, Occulus, etc., are being embraced by the porn industry in Japan, and soon enough you'll be able to have incredibly immersive sexual encounters without ever having to leave your own basement.

The latest versions of Smart TVs are all equipped to spy on you, document your viewing habits and even record your conversations. This is happening today.

The movie "Her" was also a pretty scary look at what society might be like in 50 years. Humans (at least the middle class and up) will almost certainly become more insular in the future, especially if crime, disease, pollution, etc., make the outside world less and less inviting. And when AI finally becomes a real, tangible thing and not just the stuff of Sci-Fi books and movies, I am not sure how society doesn't fuck that up. Or cloning, or nanotechnology. Look at how the use of drones, satellite technology, meta-data has already changed the way governments, corporations and the military exert their will over the general population.

Apologies for the science/future rant, but I love talking about this stuff.

I guess it all boils down to whether or not you are a technology optimist or pessimist? Do you believe technology will spell our doom? Is humanity destined to destroy itself?
 
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cosmosuave

TRIBE Member
I am for technology but it is one thing when it runs your life... My wife lost her new iPhone while we were in Mexico recently and all I can say is that put a damper on the vacation for a couple of days after because of that fucking phone...
 

Illogistix

TRIBE Member
I am for technology but it is one thing when it runs your life... My wife lost her new iPhone while we were in Mexico recently and all I can say is that put a damper on the vacation for a couple of days after because of that fucking phone...

Seen. I just came back from Mexico and my girl (who is always on me about iPhone usage) had hers stolen and the tears were flowin! Losing your phone can definitely be a buzz killer. But the crazy thing was, she was most upset because we had just gotten back together down there and her friend took a bunch of really sweet photos of us walking along the beach, and then they were all gone. But, they weren't! She only ever uses her phone on wifi and all that stuff was backed up in the cloud. She was able to recover everything, numbers, phones, emails, etc. I can't say if that's a good thing or not. The cloud, man. It's kind of insane to think about.
 

I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
It's an amazing tool, and it's the future, so embrace technology and realize that right now, inside your pocket or purse, is:

- Your telephone
- Your text/email device
- Your mini computer
- Your television
- Your jukebox
- Your radio
- Your book
- Your newspaper
- Your magazine
- Your camera
- Your scrapbook/journal/Memory maker
- Your calculator
- Your GPS
- Your dictionary
- Your encyclopedia
- Your own, personal newswire (if you use Twitter like I do)
- Your sports-ticker
- Your dating app (I have never used an online dating tool, but I am in the minority so I am including it)
- Your restaurant finder

I think the question is why do you need all of these things at your fingertips 24hours a day? Same with Klubmasta will I only carry a phone for work.
 

Illogistix

TRIBE Member
I think the question is why do you need all of these things at your fingertips 24hours a day? Same with Klubmasta will I only carry a phone for work.

No - I definitely don't. But I love knowing that all that is there if I do need it. When I go camping up north or away on vacation, I only use my phone to take pictures. I turn off everything else -- I don't own another camera. I might cave and post one instagram but I am pretty good about that. Roaming rates are reason enough to stay off your iPhone when you travel.

I think you just need to use some control, push moderation like with anything else that's good in your life (shopping, eating, drinking, drugs).
 
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catilyst

TRIBE Member
I see smartphones as a dirty word (I have one, still won't pay for data though) - simply, I don't play with it when others are around. The gf has long been like this but her FB'ing is slowly increasing.

We do however get very sad for people when we're out eg. for dinner and see couples sitting at their tables, both staring at their phones.

I think there's hope though. Maybe we'll see it's just a fad.

I mean, what if things progressed the other way around?

What if we had no voices to speak with, but could only communicate through texting, fb, twitter, email etc through a small, hand held device? Then one day someone invents verbal communication (iSpeak lol)? That would be the day everyone ditches their smart phones.
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
like all technology there is a good & bad side.

get used to it. things aren't gonna roll back to the "good old days" (barring a future apocalypse)
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
The positives far outweigh the negatives.

And what is usually missing in the criticism of how much people use their phones is what they are actually using them for. People are engaging with a wider social network on levels that simply weren't possible before. It is not a cold and soulless experience interacting with computers anymore.

The invention and subsequent growth and popularity is one of the most important pivots in the development in humanity. We are the generation that has one foot in the time before it and one foot in the time after it and we can't help but make comparisons. I am happy my children will "take it for granted". That the amount of information and connections both locally and globally they have is exponentially greater than generations before. Our lives have been immeasurably enriched by the access to information and communication that we have now.

Of course it's not all shiny amazingness and there are drawbacks of course but you can't deny how weighted to benefits vs drawbacks it is.

I had a teacher early on when I was just becoming aware of the internet as a thing who predicted it would change the way our brains are wired. Until the internet learning was focused on memorizing. Knowledge advancement meant learning what previous generations had discovered and putting that knowledge into our brains then building on it. Now memorization is much less important and we free up brain power to use on higher conceptual thinking. Add to that the connections that minds can now make and collaboration that is now possible in essentially realtime across great distances you can't deny we are advancing forward at amazing speeds.

I can't wait to see what the next generation does with it that doesn't have memory of what it was like before and isn't making that comparison.
 
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RumRogerz

TRIBE Member
Lately, I've been ignoring my phone. I just put it away. I never take it out when I'm out with friends unless there is a google challenge issued.
If I'm at a bar by myself, I read a newspaper like Metro or have a book I meander through, but that is really it.
I gotta say, it's pretty sweet. I've noticed that I have way more time to do me stuff. I'm never glued to my screen and it's enabled me to start working on a shit tonne of projects and it's keeping me busy and scarce, which is great because I'm somehow a commodity because of it.

-Sent from my iPhone
 

diablo

TRIBE Member
Everyone already knows the negatives associated with smartphones, but my personal peeve is when people break them out at social gatherings. It's one thing to quickly check for texts a few times during the night or open up email if your date/friend gets up to go to the bar/washroom, but few things kill me worse than a cottage weekend/snowboard trip/backyard barbecue splintering off into people dicking around with the most inconsequential things on their phone. If you're on a weekend trip with your friends, who are you so urgently FB messaging?

Yeah, it's "how things are" now blah blah blah, but the downsides are already starting to outweigh the (admittedly often massive) convenience, IMO. I would argue that the overwhelming majority of connectivity and online "interaction" is really banal and superficial.

And I'd never take it on vacation. It's one of the things about vacations that I most look forward to, actually.
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
...but few things kill me worse than a cottage weekend/snowboard trip/backyard barbecue splintering off into people dicking around with the most inconsequential things on their phone. If you're on a weekend trip with your friends, who are you so urgently FB messaging?.

This is probably the worst thing, and one of the biggest problems I saw with wireless points being installed in provincial parks. Just ugh.....
 
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