Have mobile devices rewired us?

There was a time when meeting someone at a shopping centre involved patiently waiting for them to arrive. Nowadays, you just grab your phone and text them or check their shared location using one of the many apps out there. Do you remember after first meeting someone having to ask them to write their phone number on a piece of paper? All we have to do right now is add them on Facebook, and if this fails, we just resort to “googling” them. Technology has redefined the way we stay in touch and the way we socialise.

The good

Mobile phones were intended for staying in touch with people, be it family or friends, while away from a landline. This inherently is not bad: it allows us to go anywhere and still remain connected. What’s more, in case of an emergency, we are able to reach out for help and, as a parent, tracking your children in today’s world is certainly comforting.

Equipped with cameras that ensure you can capture any memory on the go, these devices serve as day planners or personal organisers and allow for constant interaction with anyone anywhere via email, text message or any other digital way of communication.

The bad

Move aside! Unless you want to get run over by a distracted mob of mobile users, you better watch where you’re walking, because they certainly aren’t. Source

There is nothing bad with accepting and embracing technology as part of our lives. However, overusing and even abusing mobile phones is a common picture, especially for today’s youth. These inanimate objects have become as important as the people around them, or even more so in some cases. It’s not uncommon to see people go ballistic over a lost phone.

But what’s even worse is how we isolate ourselves from anything that happens while using these devices. This is why the presence of a mobile device within a group of people interacting face to face has proved to interfere with human relationships negatively, especially when discussing personal and meaningful topics.

The ugly

Recent research carried out shows that mobile phones are not as benign as we thought they were. Although there is a lack of assertive evidence that they cause tumors and cancer, given these devices operate using magnetic fields, studies indicate that they might affect our living cells.

As if that were not enough, the constant ringing, vibrating, alerts and reminders are enough to put users on edge. A study conducted in Sweden has determined that overusing mobile devices is closely related to mental health issues in young adults. Where women suffer from stress, men have symptoms of depression, and both genders alike have problems sleeping. Ultimately anything that affects our health as individuals, also affects the way we interact with the rest of the human race.

We used to call people to socialise. Now, we just text short sentences. Are we so busy with our virtual lives that we have forgotten our real lives? I love technology as much as the next person but it’s time to give our thumbs a rest and reconnect: turn off your mobile, get some real ‘facetime’ and have a long, deep and meaningful conversation. You might be surprised.

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Written by

Analytical by nature, Mora is always on the lookout for new tech trends and releases. Bridging the gap between IT and businesses is how this avid reader enjoys the best of both worlds. Her curiosity and dedication have earned her the EmpireOne's Business Systems Analyst role.

2 Comments to “Have mobile devices rewired us?”

  1. Frank Fera says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    And it looks like corporate is banking on generation Y addiction to mobile.

    As a vendor, I’ve seen a push to “go mobile” in business solutions.

    Just like companies in the past had subsidised cafeterias and even gift shops on site to keep staff in the office more, I see the “go mobile” in business as a way to keep staff online more. For example, while an employee is at home, watching television, tablet in hand checking facebook, they’ll no doubt fill compelled to check their “business status”.

    I’m all for efficiency, and I must admit I was pushing for mobile business solutions almost 10 years ago, because as a tecko I thought it would be tres cool. But it begs the question; there has been some talk that generation Y addiction to social media, quick sms conversations, quick twitter bursts, quick facebook posts, quick IMs, etc… has led to a shortened attention span.

    Is this observation JUST a teenage thing, or is it as a result of current technology trends?

    As such does it therefore mean that using mobile devices to attend to your business requirements, while simultaneously watching television and posting on facebook, will lack the quality which should be required to carry out said business task? Or god forbid has you sending an inappropriate “selfie” to your CEO?

  2. Frank Fera says:

    EDIT: Apologies for the bad grammar. I blame Sunday morning syndrome.