The Pain and Pleasure of The Smartphone

During the last ten years there has been a huge increase in the use of smartphones even with their propensity to isolate and disconnect people. But how will smartphones affect the next generation who have never known a life without them?

The incredible spread of the smartphone

As a result of the incredible spread of the smartphone people of all ages have grown more distant from each other and disengaged from sharing conversations and experiences. Technology generally makes life better, as it removes the need to do everyday mundane and repetitive tasks. But it also reduces a useful exposure to a little struggle and hardship, which provides humans with a sense of purpose and opportunity to learn new skills. Smartphones are already an iconic feature of the digital economy, as ownership soared from almost zero to saturation point in just over a decade. People of all ages are addicted to, and obsessed with, their smartphone as they stare zombie-like into screens while blissfully ignoring interruptions from family and friends. We find solace in their glow and revel in their bleeps, as they open windows on worlds that until recently were beyond our dreams. They provide us with an endless array of distraction and engagement that addict and dazzle and entertain in equal measure. They allow us to enter an attractive world of our choosing in a way that makes everyday life seem even more ordinary and mundane. And so we return again and again for the hit of dopamine that calms our growingly dependent and distracted brains. We engage with smartphones and other screens in the bedroom and bathroom, on the street and sofa, and when surrounded by others and alone. We fret without them and panic at the slightest distance away from them. We react with shock when we leave them behind and are perplexed when the battery is low and about to go. Yet with a smartphone in our hand our curiosity is endless, as we search and scan and scroll through endless pages that never fail to grab and keep our attention.

An essential part of life

Smartphones and other digital screens have become so much a part of life that it is difficult for older people and impossible for younger people to live without them. Such everyday technology is seen as an essential part of life and survival in the digital age. Campaigns and connections, friends and friendships, reunions and revolutions are all triggered with ease through the screens that permanently reside in our hand.

So, technology-driven smartphones and digital screens are the heroes of the last decade as they help and hinder our lives in equal measure.