HOW OUR PHONES CONTROL US: Part 2
Teenagers are also known to befriend strangers online, now as a fashion. We tend to give away personal information to our online friends, the ones we have never even met. This has exponentially increased cases of cyberbullying. Another contributing factor to our cell phone addiction is online games. We all know about games like PUBG or Fortnite that are currently at the peak of their popularity. We see groups of people, teenagers usually, playing a game of simulated reality rather than actually interacting with one another. We might also be one of them. These games affect our education. They can cause insomnia, frustration, and a lack of concentration in these crucial years of our lives. We forget to differentiate between the real and the virtual world. I hate to admit it, but I was one of those people. We are also addicted to online movies and TV series streaming applications. We are losing the habit of reading books since there are always movies based on them easily available online. YouTube and News applications provide us with happenings around the world as soon as they take place. We no longer need to carry around or read big newspapers. We need to be fed with new content and updates as much as possible and anything that has happened even a few hours ago is old news. We use the power of social media to voice our opinions about social issues and to participate in social movements. This has paved the way for new ideas coming in and awareness spreading every day. However, as another consequence of social media, we seem to have forgotten that a click may only provide us with the satisfaction of wanting to do good rather than actually doing good. We cannot simply click our ways through change, we need physical contribution which in the digital world, seems unnecessary to the smartphone user. Textual language and slang are affecting our speaking skills. We remain ignorant of the rules of language and grammar just to appear “cool”. Abbreviations and emoticons may have helped us save time while texting but, when they start popping up in our everyday conversations, only a few may notice the impact of phones and the ‘technology-takeover’ on our brains. Many of us store our personal details on our phones which include important documents and credit card information. Nowadays, we use our phones to make payments in shops and hardly carry any cash. We hear about online fraud every day. The files that we have on our phone are so sensitive that they can affect and even ruin our lives if they fall into the wrong hands. Have you ever observed that a person who is in the middle of charging their phones cannot move further than what the length of the cord allows? The resemblance of a phone charger with chains is uncanny. We can say that without our phones, we cannot survive in the modern world. It is ironic that our cell phones connect us to new people and opportunities but also at the same time make us lose touch with our friends, family, and the ones who are close to us. We are all unique individuals with unique thoughts and emotions that do not need to be controlled by other people or worse, by an inanimate rectangular object that is meant to be controlled by us rather than the other way around. We live in a world which is larger, very much tangible, and different than the one that can fit in our pockets. We can only get the best of technology when the realization of utility over subjection dawns upon us. Living in a so-called utopia is in no way better than living in the moment. Put real before virtual, maintain a balance, and watch your life free and fresh.
Cover image : Zak Tebbal