Smartphone droping-bottle

In the report recently released by Online Publishing Association, the statistic was that 68% of smartphone owners nowadays say they cannot live without their precious smartphones. I guess they are bunch of recalcitrant kids. It does not matter what you do or who you are – you can live even without your smartphone.

Unless I really know nothing about recent technological achievements, smartphones do not feed you, provide you water or clothes. They do not make fire, give medicine, or bear children. All those smartphones, with all their apps and barely operating artificial intelligence speaking with you, cannot pitch a camp in the rain, or build a house until winter, or help you fight off a wolf pack. If you think that you like your modern smartphone because it’s a very useful tool which makes your life simpler, that definitely makes me agree with you. Still hammers are also useful tools which make life much simpler, yet it is hard for me to imagine a world where almost 70% of hammer owners are saying that they could not live their lives without their hammers.

Claiming that you cannot live without your smartphone is not just absolutely wrong but is also sort of offensive. It is like saying that you could not live without your air conditioner, or Christmas presents, or Breaking Bad. The vast majority of people around the world are living without all those things, and I guess that most of them do so quite happily. But 68% of smartphone owners are willing to implicitly suggest that all those people live such lives which are not worth living, because they do not have smartphone in their pocket which tells them latest news or lets them amuse themselves with Plants vs. Zombies. Just try telling a child in Iraq whose home is still honeycombed with bullet holes from AK-47 or M1A4 that you cannot live without your precious smartphone and see how much common ground you get from that kid.

Happy friends running

I guess that a huge number of all OPA poll respondents were being boggle when they claimed that they could not imagine their lives without smartphones. It is a thoughtless response to such important question, thus I doubt that anyone could find at least a group of people who equate smartphones with things like food and water literally. Still language is important, thus if there are many millions of smartphone owners out there willing to totally agree when anyone asks them “do they need their smartphones to live”, I guess something is gone absolutely wrong.

As for me, this modern problem is a latest symptom of much larger problem that has corroded USA for at least 25 years. To be specific, it seems like many people find extremely difficult to understand the plain difference between such things as “need” and “want.” Life in the wealthy nation prospering during the fastest hi-tech advancement era of all human history, those lines between things which make life possible and stuff which make life comfortable simply have been erased. Articles of daily necessity like food, water and some shelter are now always within grasp for most American citizens, and for most people that stability exists for many decades.

With the cornerstones of existence now often taken for granted, we have reached such time when food is not seen as the necessity in the same way as our blood is not seen as the necessity. Any average person is not thinking that they need to always pump their blood through the veins and heart beating to live—our bodies simply do that, and we are not thinking about it. If you are reading this blog, you probably think about food and water similarly. You do not stress where it is coming from because it is always there. So because our necessary food is always there, this fact allows us to start creating new things for life we have. We need our air conditioners. We need our TV sets. We need those $400 headphones. We cannot live without our advanced smartphones. It looks like we have become a huge nation of teenagers, those ones who scream hysterically “You’re ruining my life!” when our parents took away our smartphone or car keys.

Family with kids on the beach

I am on the side of technology. I truly like that I am able to use my smartphone to check e-mail. It has saved me plenty of time, nerves and headaches at work. I adore texting or hanging out in social networks. Yet I also think that it is important to periodically remind myself: if all those things went away the other day, my life would definitely be different, but not worthless at all. For the few weeks after that it would possibly be a huge hardship, but after some time pass I could get over it for sure. Maybe I would even flourish. Moreover, some studies demonstrate that US citizens tend to be not that happy today than they were 40 years ago, when there were no computers at homes, smartphones in every purse or pocket, and e-mail checking obsession. Other studies demonstrate that the more media our kids consume – the less their happiness is. We want — and even need all those things, but when we get all we wanted, that stuff still does not make us enjoy our lives more, yet now we cannot imagine our lives without it.

One of the most anticipated NBC fall shows is called Revolution. It is a drama showing what happens when every single piece of technology around the world just stops its work for unknown reasons. Millions of people are frustrated for some time, no doubt. Yet the story at bottom of the show is about families and their closest friends just moving on. They do that because there is real life beyond any technology, even if you do not feel that way every time you stand in line to get the next iPhone. But if you do, you can help your friends and relatives who don’t. To do that you can use smartphone jammer that will block all frequencies it uses to operate and leave people you love no other choice but to start living their real life!

Your opinions on this matter are welcome.

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