Sent to you by Chris Hunter via Google Reader:
The mobile phone is amazing, and I can't really bash it. How cool is it that we live in an age where almost everyone has a Star Trek communicator in their hip pocket? (Now if only we could have phasers.)
However, sometimes even the coolest inventions in the world bring negative impacts, and although it doesn't take away from how great these inventions are, it is our irresponsibility that puts a bad mark on them. So let's take a look at how mobile phone culture has ruined the world.
We Have Gotten Lazy
It's true, isn't it? The mobile phone isn't just a way to communicate to people. Oh no. It's your go-to device for everything. You can shop online stores, map out trips, and read the news all from one device. Heck, with the right armchair that's near an electrical outlet, you would never have to even leave your seat.
What I am getting at is that we tend to become very dependent on our phones. When's the last time that you actually mapped out a trip? How often do you use your mobile phone as a calculator. Have you ever tried figuring out the time using only the sun? Don't get too defensive, for it's true that we should use technology to make our lives easier, and I recognize that. However, we mustn't forget our roots in the event that technology ever fails us.
We Have Given Up Privacy
No longer can you have a moment to yourself in this day and age. If you ignore a phone call and post something on Facebook from your phone right after, the person who called is going to see it, and said person could quite likely become offended (which is kind of silly when you think about it). I am curious as to when we decided it was okay to let everyone know exactly where we are. Technically, there's nothing wrong with it, but I would consider it to be a faux pas in the category of societal evolution.
Using apps such as Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter, we have successfully made the world our mother, letting it know where we are going, who we are going with, and what exactly we are doing while we are there. I've been told by a reader that I have missed the point of social networking, but wouldn't sharing valuable information such as worldwide, local, and even personal news be a more proper way to utilize social networking? By constantly sharing our location (keyword is "constantly"), we set ourselves up for an invasion of privacy.
We Have Also Become Too Private
Ironically, in this supposedly open source world, it seems as though that as soon as we get away from the computer, we become a privacy-hungry individual. Granted, I do not have a solid foundation for this argument – it's merely an opinion and currently based upon experience – but how often do you find yourself avoiding face-to-face interaction these days? Surely there will be one of you who comments on here, "Joshua, I don't have a problem at all with talking to people face-to-face," and to that, I say good for you.
However, there are people who do struggle with this due to mobile phone culture, and you must recognize that I do not believe all my points apply to everyone. I do ask this – how many people do you know that would rather send a text message than make a phone call? There is something troublesome about a human being more open to an electronic device than a fellow human being.
We Have Forgotten Social Skills
Moving on along with this privacy nonsense, I believe that we can assume that all the former rules of privacy have been turned around into something totally unrecognizable. We don't mind Tweeting that we're about to use the toilet, but we refuse to say much more than "hello" to a friend on the street.
Furthermore, we tend to make the world our place for private conversations, venturing out into public and having loud discussions that would have made my grandmother blush – alas, the death of the phone booth. The street, dear people, is not a place to have conversations about your sexual frustrations, your diarrhea, or your most recent hit-and-run victim. Save that for at home. Or the car. Somewhere else. Anywhere, really.
It's very easy to communicate using only text on a screen, and even though actual voice conversations are more closely related to face-to-face interaction, it's just not the same as two people connecting with each other.
I don't think we should stop using mobile phones, and with that being said, I don't think we should stop using social networking or fancy apps that let us order a pizza online. We're residing in the future, and we should live it up as much as possible! However, there's something that we need to retain in this mobile phone culture – our humanity.