Well, here’s the thing – we all proclaim to know that smartphone addiction hampers relationships but only a handful show awareness (let alone accept) how our own actions are causing much damage. While there are tons of studies out there that have established this trend, what is critical to point out, is how we all have played both victim and the culprit to this addiction. Again, not many are ready to accept how they’ve played latter, but no reasonable explanation takes away the veracity from this matter.
Truth be told, I’ve personally been on both sides and so have you my dear friend. So, stop acting as the victim and brave the reality of how you’ve played culprit more times that you can recall.
But first, let’s address the basic issue at hand – how does one define smartphone addiction? While I’m sure there are better and more technical ways of wording this, but simply put, if you or someone around you chooses to look at the screen over talking in person, then it can well be qualified as addiction.
You may choose to disagree about this definition and you may well be right, but then, it still doesn’t take away the merit from the argument that when we humans prefer more screen time over human interaction it’s nothing but plain addiction. Period.
Now, consider this – many of us reading this have already or are in the process of moving away from a joint family setup and living in a nuclear setup. Those who have made this transition within their current lifespans understand the demerits (and merits) more closely. As if the hardships of a nuclear setup weren’t already prevalent, smartphone addiction is making matters worse and further breaking down the remains of the social institution of the family.
Don’t take my word for it and simply look around you – if you or someone in your family prefers to look at the screen than talk while in each other’s presence, then you are in thick of this change and damaging your relationships in more ways than one.
Let me now share a personal incident – In a recent interaction with someone much older than me, I bumped into this exact situation. This time around, I was playing the victim and the older gentleman the culprit. Before we move any further, do ponder about the claims that some studies make – that the younger lot mostly play culprits and the older generation the victim. The situation I faced was completely the reverse.
When I did request for some facetime with this older gentleman, I was served a rather hard-hitting sentence, that he prefers to check his WhatsApp and Facebook rather than talk to me. Took me a while to gulp down what I was told. Or maybe, I am still to totally gulp it down totally.
So, what’s the solution to this yet another mess created by the mankind? Start with yourself and make a change for the better – I know this is easier said than done, but then again, it’s not that tough either. The first step to change is realising the need for change – important to tell yourself how you are playing culprit each time you pick up that smartphone while in the company of others.
The time you spend checking useless notifications on Facebook, WhatsApp or any other app that you like is a moment that you could have potentially caught up with a friend or family sitting right beside you at that moment. A moment that could have well turned into a pleasant memory to cherish for a lifetime. Take a pause to think about this and action it next time you meet someone.
Do leave a line or two to share what you think – please share with me and others reading this post if have you been on either side and played a victim or culprit?