Who is smarter? You or your phone?

September 30, 2017

Sad but true. A few years ago, a teenager from Anhui, one of China’s poorest provinces, sold his kidney to buy an I-Phone. This tragic incident was recalled by Dr Jack Linchuan Qiu, a professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong speaking at our office recently.

There are over 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions globally, likely to go up to 6.1 billion by 2020. What is concerning is that fact that on an average people spend over 4 hours a day on their smartphones. Dr Qiu feels world’s addiction to iPhones and other smartphones/devices has created a generation of iSlaves. His recent book “Good Bye I Slave” is on this topic.

For me, Smart phone usage is a behavioural issue that needs attention. Much has been written about its adverse effects on health (not just on adults but children as well) productivity and relationships.

How can you know if you are a smart phone-addict? You are if do one or more of the following:
– You look at your phone first thing in the morning when you get up.
– You take the phone with you to the toilet.
– You check your messages or speak on the phone while having meals.

It may not be difficult to change these habits. If you do that, it will be a good beginning. It is also not a good idea to be on a large number of social networks and groups such as WhatsApp. You end up being flooded with messages and most of them are useless forwarded messages that keep doing the rounds.

The biggest problem, however, is that excessive use of smartphone does not allow us to enjoy our present moment or focus on the person we are with. I had written in one of my earlier posts about make the-best- of -now attitude. Indeed, the most important person is the one we are with, in a given moment. So, don’t let your phone snatch away that moment from you. Switch it off from time to time. It is a smart thing to do! This alone will decide who is smarter: you or your phone.