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Are Smartphones Making Us Less Connected?

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 218

We use them to tweet when waiting in line at the checkout. We use them to Facebook, when our mate's ordering the next round at the bar. We use them in class, to text and BBM and do anything other than the work we've been assigned to get on with. Hell, occasionally we even use them to make phone calls, the original purpose for which mobile phones were invented, believe it or not.

How we use our phones is entirely up to us of course. When we use them can be a cause of contention however. When it comes to smartphone etiquette, it would appear that there are very few clear-cut rules, but plenty of grey areas.

For example: Is it acceptable to use your smartphone at meal times? If it's Sunday lunch with the in-laws, the answer to that one's 'probably not' - no matter how bored you may be of their inane chatter. What if it's just you and your flatmate eating a TV dinner on the couch? They're probably not gonna complain should you elect to whap out your smartphone and Facebook a snap of the 'on nom nom' pizza you're presently devouring.

Few would dispute that smartphones, with their exhaustive array of apps, labour-saving devices and high speed internet connectivity have made our lives better. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing? At what point should you stop tweeting and step away from the smartphone - when you finally fall asleep at night, with your cherished iPhone 4S still grasped in your hand? When you take a shower? Or will they have to prise it, Charlton Heston style, from your cold dead hands?

According to Sherry Turkle, a psychologist at MIT, "technology is taking us places we don't want to go". Turkle opines that our near-constant connection to social media is paradoxically making us more anti-social. With many of us eschewing real-life conversations for their digital equivalent, are we at risk of losing our social skills altogether?

Sherry Turkle believes that technology is taking us towards a Siri-like scenario in which our devices can offer us "companionship without the demands of friendship". Are our girlfriends, boyfriends and BFFs in danger of being supplanted by our pocket-sized companions? Could we reach a stage where Siri knows us better than our closest friends?

As it is, internet giants such as Facebook and Google already know a disturbing amount of information about our browsing habits, buying behaviours and idiosyncrasies. By extension, that Android device in your pocket is packing more of your vital stats than you ever imagined. When our mobile devices start to speak like us and think us, it leads to a worrying conclusion: what if our smartphones aren't turning into our new best friends? What if they're becoming pocket-sized versions of us?

We enjoy symbiotic relationships with our smartphones at the best of times, and feel lost when they're not within arm's reach. Now, they would appear to be turning into our miniature doppelgangers - the Danny De Vito to our Arnold Schwarzenegger. Like it or not, we're all now inextricably twinned with our smartphones. Without them we are nothing, and without us, they too are nothing. Touché.

For the latest smartphone news and contract comparisons visit Best Mobile Contracts, a leading UK phone comparison website.

Source: EzineArticles
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