Our smart phones are making us socially stupid

by | Sep 26, 2014 | Opinion

Dilara Kurtaran
Assistant News Editor

I was sipping my green tea latte at Second Cup while the friend I came here to catch up with was texting on her phone. We hadn’t hung out in so long and she had lots to tell me. As I patiently waited for her to finish telling me her story I looked around the café; at least one person from each table either had their phone out or was on their phone while the other person was talking to them, just like we were.

In this case, she was the one who was trying to tell me something but she kept getting distracted by her phone, having to stop constantly to reply to a text or check her Insta- gram notifications.

Since when are we all addicted to our smart phones? Is it social media that is causing this addiction, or is it the availability and limitless possibility of what we can now do on our phones?

I am also vulnerable to this. I try hard to keep up with my emails, keep in touch with friends and be active on social media. Multitask- ing is infused in our society thanks to endless app downloads pulling our attention in so many different directions.

But I personally find it disrespectful when I’m trying to talk to someone and they are just busy staring at their screens. I know it’s not meant to be disrespectful to me, and it’s not that they are not interested in what I am saying, It’s just a habit – a bad one.

The truth is painfully obvious. Our generation is addicted to technology.

Phone addiction is so real that there is even a KickStarter cam- paign funding the creation of the NoPhone, which has raised just over $7,000 since it started on Sept. 11. The NoPhone is an iPhone-shaped phone made out of plastic and which does….nothing.

The product has gone viral.

NoPhone pokes fun at our generation’s smartphone addiction. The campaign website highlights features of the phone including it being battery free, no upgrades necessary, shatterproof and water- proof. You can even customize your NoPhone to take selfies by buying the upgrade, which is literally just a mirror glued to the front of the phone.

The NoPhone campaign website boasts, you can “share selfies with your friends if they’re standing behind you. Add a verbal hashtag by syncing your brain and vocal cords.”

It has come to the point where we are making fun of our own smart- phone addiction. As technology progresses, and companies come out with new devices, perhaps our phone addiction will be replaced with the next best thing. What will remain of human interaction at that point is anyone’s guess.