A Smartphone epidemic iWonder?

Having the world at our fingerprints may be revolutionary, allowing us to remain up-to-date and consistently well informed yet could this technological evolution be fraught with negativity? Is there such a thing as a smartphone epidemic, damaging our perceptions of reality and obscuring the importance we place on human interaction in our day-to-day lives?

On average, smartphone owners spend 2.5 hours daily operating their device.  This includes indulging in Instagram dinners, engrossed in Facebook posts and scrutinising retweets. Whilst this may not sound like a considerable quantity of time, this would still equate to a substantial measure during the course of our lives.

Social Media plays a huge part in this potential issue for it is no secret this format of networking allows us to bend the truth, for you are free to compose exactly as you wish, within reason. It is only natural, therefore, that many individuals, regardless of their age, gender and ambitions aspire to present information that showcases themselves in the best light possible.

I am sure we are all well accustomed with those who regularly post regarding their gym workouts, glowing exam results or flawless selfies prior to a night out. Whilst this may seem relatively innocent, this illusion of maintaining a desirable lifestyle, day in, day out, may leave others feeling insecure and searching for an unattainable ideal.

In my opinion, I believe this presents the main hinderance of Social Media and reflects something that ironically possesses the ability to be something far from social, questioning your worth.

Whilst I think Social Media is a fantastic form of staying in touch, voicing your opinions and stalking ex’s profiles (we’ve all done it) I think it’s key to remember that Social Media is not real.

Fundamentally, Social Media offers a portrayal of what people wantus to see, and it is crucial we don’t forget this nor get lost in this message.

With this in mind, is this apparent smartphone phenomenon a harmless necessity or does this 21st century indulgence present further negative consequences that could threaten our happiness and level of satisfaction?

If you are unashamedly addicted to your smartphone, you are certainly not in the minority.  Often, it is not until you’re greeted with your smartphone’s absence you acknowledge just how extensively you depend on this small, rectangular device.  Arguably, this absence could be a gift in disguise.

I have recently stumbled across a few articles about those who have purposely left their phones at home for the day.  Many individuals reported how, without the burden of urgency to respond to texts, emails and tweets, they felt much happier.  This freedom from technology increased their concentration by reducing distractions, prolonging mental engagement and subsequently allowing them to tackle the task at hand 100%.

Whilst, unsurprisingly, I’m yet to find an app which temporarily disables Social Media altogether, it would appear, for the meantime, leaving your device to one side may be the only way to resist the technology temptation.

Admittedly, at present, I am not prepared to revert back to my 2004 Nokia 3410 but I am willing to consider using my phone less in the future.  Besides, humans have survived adequately until now without yearning for a retweet, Facebook likes or an Instagram follow, to lead a rich and fulfilling life.

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