Look Up

I’ve already read a couple of blog posts talking about the idea of ‘anti-social networks’, and people seem to be on both sides of the debate regarding technology as good or bad. I certainly agree that technology has given us the ability to be more social in terms of allowing us to contact more regularly others that we may not be able to see on a daily basis, and we are no longer confined by the constraints of our physical space/location. However, the number of people glued to their screens continually perplexes me. I catch the tube to and from uni each day, and as I look around majority of people are staring at their screens for the entire ride. No one looks up, no one talks to one another, people don’t even notice when someone is trying to get past them because they’re so fixated on whatever is going on in their phones.

I tend to look judgementally on these people; can’t they just sit and think for half an hour? Do they really need to be continually stimulated by social media or whatever pointless game they’re playing? But how do I really know what they’re even doing on their phones? I have no issues with people sitting on the train reading the paper, but perhaps the people on their phones are reading the news. As we know it has transformed these days and we no longer rely on hard copy information. Maybe they’re using an app to learn a language, I wouldn’t look upon phone users so negatively if I knew they were trying to learn something worthwhile. I guess when I really think about it my issue isn’t so much with people being glued to their various devices, but rather with people numbly wasting their time and being incapable of sitting and enjoying a moment in their present reality.

I am grateful for Internet and technologies’ ability to aid communication and help us maintain and build friendships, but I am concerned with people’s overuse of it and their inability to switch off and just be in the moment. I’ve linked a short video that you should watch, it certainly got me thinking…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY

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2 Comments

  1. I completely believe that our generation is demonised for our use of the internet and social media because the older generations don’t seem to understand. We use our phones to communicate, to work, to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world. And honestly, if we are playing a little game, is it the end of the world? If I take a five minute break from my working day to play Candy Crush for five minutes is that really making me less of an intelligent competent person? I don’t think so.

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  2. I sometimes see those who start to check their text notifications even though their friends are in front of them. I understand once we see the Pop-up notifications on the screen, we feel like we need to see texts regardless of what the texts are about or how much they are really important. As a result, we might start to read the texts “for a moment” and continue to talk to their friends, looking at the screens of their smartphones.
    Personally I think they believe that they can manage their conversation but they often don’t concentrate on the conversation and talk as if they really don’t care about the face-to-face communication in progress. The topics might not be as important as those of texts on smartphones or even less important but then I often think why do they need face-to-face talk?
    I think your blog’s topic can be controversial. I found the article called “Smartphones make deaf life easier but at the expense of what? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-31004325)” which seems be related to your post. If you have time, please have a look!

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