Have Mobile Phones Really Made Life Better?

Remember when you use the excuse “I missed your call” was still an acceptable way to avoid responsibility? I sure do. It was one of the strongest weapons in my arsenal, a fool proof way to dodge something that very few could argue with, and a universal way for a person to get a bit of peace and quiet. When you got home, work was where you left it, at work, and had no way of following you home, short of folders and files developing sentience and learning how to read maps.

Now, I wouldn’t be foolish enough to ignore the multiple positive things that mobile phones do. After all, when your car broke down on the side of the road, your only real options used to be to hitchhike to the nearest petrol station, risking encountering any number of kidney thieves along the way, or simply walking. And as a person who once owned a car that broke down five times in as many months, I can appreciate how mobile phones avoided me potentially losing my kidney on five separate occasions.

But I still can’t help but wonder, have mobile phones, in the grand scheme of things, really made life all that better?

Another Screen In Your Face

I have a friend who is adamant that screens are drastically altering our brains. She is an intelligent lady, so I listen to what she has to say, and have to admit she makes a great deal of sense on this topic. Screens dominate virtually every moment of our lives in one way or another. If it isn’t working on computer screens, it’s watching entertainment on television screens, or otherwise having our faces plastered to mobile phone screens. Just be honest with yourself for a moment, and work out how much of every day you are staring at a screen.

Now we could go into the physical aspects a screen dominated life has on you brain, but I don’t know enough about brain biology to say if there is any merit to the idea that flickering lights literally alter our brains. What I do know is that I see kids in malls these days, and I’ll be damned if they don’t all stand around in little groups, staring at phones. That is weird. Any way you look at it, that is weird, and I can’t imagine healthy on any level. That isn’t a matter of convenience; it really does start looking like the next generation is married to technology in a spooky way.

And I can’t say much in that regard, because I’ll be damned if my mobile phone isn’t beside me, every second of every day.

Productivity On Steroids

But I think we all already know about the kids being married to their phones situation. Let’s not overlook the fact that productivity has also entered into a new era, and that mobile phones literally grant everyone a portable office. And that, let’s just be honest, is so amazing that it almost defies belief. As to whether a person decides to turn off their mobile office after a certain time of day really is up to them. But that fact that a person can receive an email, read it, check something online, and send a return email, all in a matter of seconds, is profound. A tech savvy person can literally be a moving office these days, and there is so much beneficial about this that arguing against it is just silly.

Again, as to whether a person chooses to switch their phone off really is up to them. And it can likewise be said that the younger generation has to simply not look at their phones fifty times a day. Mobile phones themselves do what they are designed to do, how people go about using them is a different story altogether. I don’t see anyone putting a gun to anyone else’s head, demanding they be married to their mobile phone. So, dare I say it, personal discipline is the key here, as it is with most things. And the fact that there are literally mobile phone addiction clinics says a great deal about people.

The Good With The Bad

I use this example a great deal, because it is the most relatable, I find, but I love to play casino games on my phone when I am forced to visit the bank, the grocery store, the Doctor or just about anywhere with a queue. Either way, sitting in queues is one of my all time top rung pet hates, as it is with many people. I get anxious just standing in queue to pay for groceries, so bank queues are like torture. Or at least they were, until I was able to play casino games on my phone.

I suppose you can argue that I might start a conversation with the person beside me in queue, and actually be social, which is a fair point. But chances are they’re also playing casino games on their phone. If anything, maybe I can get a few poker playing tips next time I’m in queue at the bank. Best of both worlds indeed.

Marc Armstrong - Signature

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