Smartphone addiction – how a paper boat changed it
I used to be that kind of a person. The one who keeps staring at his smartphone for days and nights and doesn’t bother about anything else. The connection between my smartphone and the charger was way better than my connection with people. My mobile network was broader than my personal network. I never used to look up. Not until that day.
It was a beautiful rainy day and I was traveling in a bus. Ignoring the outside world, I was intensely scrolling through some boring updates of my friends on Facebook. My phone was dying without charge, so was the power bank connected to it. And so was me, looking at yet another silly post. As I looked out of the bus window, I noticed a few kids on the roadside playing with paper boats. A rare, nostalgic and heartwarming sight that reminisced me of my childhood. My thoughts started pouring heavier than the rain outside. I wondered how things have changed since the 90s.
Being born in the 90’s, we have seen technology grow as we grew and change drastically. The cell phones were of brick sizes. A 14 inch black and white TV was a luxury in a middle-class family, in fact, my neighbors used to lock their old TV with keys. The Remote control was a technical marvel when invented.
Fast forward 20 years and today, smartphone(s) as thin as tiles, and now they have edges, too. TVs are as big as theaters, and even they have become smarter. And boy, do we ever stop fighting for the remote control. Seldom do we see someone without a smartphone or Facebook account! Speaking of which, we may even forget to wash our faces in the morning, but we never forget Facebook. That is how it’s dominating us. Boasts are posts, conversations are comments, lies are likes, smiles are selfies, and memories are only in photographs.
There were times we used to go browsing while we were at school. Now I wonder what’s there to browse except Facebook or should I say, scroll!… And, of course, we do use Google but only to check if our internet is working fine.
We wake up with WhatsApp chats and facebook feeds. We go to the office and work with the computer and chat on the phone. Go back home and do the same. We need to get out of this infinite loop in which we spend more time with the machines than we do with men.
In a flash, my chain of thoughts broke as the bus hit on a speed breaker and my phone beeped with WhatsApp messages, I had a moment of epiphany. I unlocked the phone and Turned mobile data off. No more messages. I searched my bag for a piece of paper and found one. Fold it into four. Fold one side down and… oh, I even forgot to make a paper boat. After a while, I somehow made one by the time I reached the destination. I got off the bus and let my boat go in the rainwater. I got drenched in the rain as I watched the boat slowly sunk.
When the rain stopped, I saw the cloudy sky with a rainbow which brought back colors to my life. After a long walk, I reached home and opened my phone, oops. I forgot to cover the phone, it had drenched the rain too. To heck with it. I’ll get a new one. This time a waterproof one, for the next rain!
That day I had decided to come out of the virtual world. Even today, I use WhatsApp and Facebook, but I know how trifle it is, so, I don’t waste much time with my phone as before. Now my personal network is way beyond my social network. I have a better connection with people. So, the next time it rains, never forget to cover your phone and play with a paper boat.
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. Use technology, Love people, not things. Use things, not people. Spend more time with the people, not things. Nowadays people even forget to smile and laugh smile because they are busy using smileys. That’s why they are taking laughter classes. So, don’t forget to smile. Because, if five seconds of a smile can make you look better in a photograph then imagine how your life would be if you keep smiling.
So, my friends let’s be smart when using a smartphone. Let’s learn To: Use touch screens but don’t forget the human touch. Use sense UI’s but don’t forget our senses. Use smileys but don’t forget to smile. Use cloud computing, but don’t forget to look at the sky and enjoy the clouds. Play temple run but don’t run when somebody needs you.