What device do you believe is working to harm Americans more than any other device? The answer may be closer than you think: the smartphone. You may find this to be an “alarmist” statement, but it cannot be exaggerated enough.
You are most likely reading this very article on your phone. If not, chances are you have one in your back pocket, on your knee, or your two-year-old is running around the house with it. Any second now you might hear a “ding” and a text message will pop up which you just have to answer right away . . . so your friend can reply right away . . . so you can text someone else . . . so your friend can text someone else. Afterwards, what will it be—the weather channel? Twitter, or Facebook? Your favorite vlog? What’s new? WHAT’S NEW? Then, to finish the day, you’ll sit up in bed reading your phone when you know you should be getting some sleep.
Sadly, this is now the portrait of the average American’s life, a drastic and dreadful change from Norman Rockwell’s image of America. Here are a few of the negative effects the smartphone has Americans and therefore on our country:
- We need people less.
The smartphone is working to eliminate the need for many services formerly offered by people. Our contact with humans is being reduced to the bare minimum, while we interact more and more with robots (which are poor substitutes for humans, by the way). Since we can do our banking, shopping, communicating, and receive our entertainment through the phone, we are slowly but surely learning to do without people. And this will only get worse, says a Techjury poll: By 2025 there will be over 311.53 million Americans using smartphones.[i]
- We have less time for each other since the phone has become the center of our lives.
Fellowship is extinct these days because we keep up our friendships through nonstop text-messaging. Everyone is so busy texting each other that they have no time for anybody or anything around them. Also, it is said that the average smartphone user spends well over 2 hours on social media daily.[ii] Of the Americans polled by Techjury, 53% say that they have never gone longer than 24 hours without their cell phone, while 47% consider themselves “addicted” to their phones, and 45% say that their phone is their most valuable possession.[iii]
- The smartphone breeds short-attention spans.
Since phones contain nearly every sort of entertainment once could wish for, people have no interest in books, magazines, movies (unless they are severely action-packed), hobbies, or even conversation. When people have short-attentions spans, they do not communicate well. Many people in our world today tend to shrink away from in-depth conversations. Meanwhile, the only sort of attention span seems to be for games. This should not come as a surprise, since most people spend 9.8 hours a week playing mobile games.[iv]
- The smartphone causes a false sense of security.
One online source states that 48% of people say they feel a sense of panic or anxiety when their cell phone battery goes below 20%. The same source also claims that 74% of Americans feel uneasy leaving their phone at home.[v] And we have all heard about the people who dial 911 when their phone isn’t working properly. But if you are laughing, ask yourself: Could you survive a day without your phone? A week? Congratulations, without your phone you’ve just lost your calendar (and thus your schedule), your banking information, and basically all contact with the outside world, not to mention the button that turns on your grill. It is dangerous to have so much dependence on one device.
- Smartphones are encouraging children to mature too fast.
Why do children need to constantly be scrolling on and swiping away at smartphones when they could be playing ball, building something creative, or walking the dog? This is not only an addiction but a serious problem, for according to Zippia, 53% of American children under 11 have a smartphone.[vi] Children should not be exposed to so much, so soon, and all at once; a smartphone opens up a whole new world, independent of parents and guardians, that will affect their minds when they are most impressionable.
This list could easily be quadrupled in size. But having read this far, consider carefully how the smartphone is changing our society. The smartphone is brainwashing us into thinking technology is a god; Google is taking the place of our brain. Phones are cancelling out patience, creating instead a dissatisfied, demanding attitude. Hopefully you will gasp upon hearing that the average U.S. adult will spend the equivalent of 44 years of their life staring at screens (and this study was conducted two years ago)![vii] Also, the average American checks his or her phone 344 times per day, or every 4 minutes.[viii]
We need to reserve smartphones for work-related, emergency, and other necessary communication, and start spending more time doing productive things. In other words, the American people are spoiled rotten. It is time to put away our favorite toy; time to roll up our sleeves and do some things the hard but satisfying way—the good-old-fashioned, American way.
[i] How Much Time Does the Average American Spend on Their Phone, https://techjury.net › blog › how-much-time-does-the-average-american-spend-on-their-phone. Accessed 11/16/22.
[ii] How Much Time Does the Average American Spend on Their Phone, https://techjury.net › blog › how-much-time-does-the-average-american-spend-on-their-phone. Accessed 11/16/22.
[iii] How Much Time Does the Average American Spend on Their Phone, https://techjury.net › blog › how-much-time-does-the-average-american-spend-on-their-phone. Accessed 11/16/22.
[iv] Over Two-thirds of U.S. Adults Increase Time Spent Gaming, https://www.globenewswire.com › news-release › 2022 › 02 › 24 › 2391544 › 0 › en › Over-Two-thirds-of-U-S-Adults-Increase-Time-Spent-Gaming.html. Accessed 11/16/22.
[v] How Much Time Does the Average American Spend on Their Phone, https://techjury.net › blog › how-much-time-does-the-average-american-spend-on-their-phone. Accessed 11/16/22.
[vi] 20 Vital Smartphone Usage Statistics . https://www.zippia.com › advice › smartphone-usage-statistics. Accessed 11/16/22.
[vii] Average U.S. Adult Will Spend Equivalent of 44 Years of Their Life … https://people.com › human-interest › average-us-adult-screens-study. Accessed 11/16/22.
[viii] 2022 Cell Phone Usage Statistics: How Obsessed Are We? https://www.reviews.org › mobile › cell-phone-addiction. Accessed 11/16/22.