It may seem comical to watch video clips of people falling into mall fountains while texting, or see two people on a date ignoring each other while concentrating on their cell phones. Injuries and bad dates notwithstanding, Americans are addicted to their smart phones. Across the country, people are glued to these hand held devices that practically manage their lives. Smart phone addiction is a real phenomenon with real-life consequences. From distracted driving and walking to loss of relationships, smart phone addiction can cause serious problems.
At meetings, in restaurants, at testing centers, and at movies, you will often see people with their heads down as if in silent prayer. They are in fact, not praying at all. They are using their smart phones. Not even places of worship are off-limits to smart phone addicts. Some are known to check and use their devices during weddings and funerals.
These tiny devices are the first thing that people pick up in the morning when they wake up and the last things they check before bed. The hours in between are filled with texting, using applications and emailing. Smart phone users can’t put them down, which can lead to serious consequences.
Texting while driving is a major problem that leads to fatal accidents every year. No longer is texting the sport of high-schoolers and teenagers. Adults are now the leading group who are stopped and ticketed for texting while driving. Unable to “turn off” from their smart phone technology, these adults put connecting with others before safety.
Disconnection from Reality
One of the sad consequences of smart phone addiction is a disconnect from relationships and life experiences. Smart phones and social media often make users feel they are connecting with friends and family when, in reality, they are creating more distance. Talking on the phone and hearing a loved one’s voice has been replaced by texting, and visiting a “friend” now takes place in a virtual social media world.
Because smart phone usage gives the false impression of connectivity, many people fail to develop meaningful offline relationships. These smart phone users are often seen at city parks, not playing and interacting with their children, but hooked to their tiny screens.
Fortunately there is a cure for smartphone addiction. It is the “off” button. By simply switching off the phone for a few minutes a day, people suffering from smartphone addiction can find new ways to get back to life.