The Profound Impact of the Smartphone
People have little awareness of the impact of their technologies on them. This is a great strength – and a great weakness.
It is a strength, because it allows them to coexist with more and more of them. Changing them more and more drastically. But when this change becomes too drastic – it drives them crazy.
And the introduction of the smartphone, in my opinion, was just such a drastic change. People everywhere – and I do mean everywhere – have become addicted to it.
It can do so much! And makes them so much better!
This feeling – that they are better – is always caused by any successful new technology. This what makes it successful – and makes people dependent on it.
I am reading Whitman’s Song of Myself, the deathbed edition, and I can see he was completely unaware of this. America had just gone through its Civil War – the first Industrialized war, to use the Railroads. But this huge change, was lost on him. He seems to have deliberately ignored it – as somehow unimportant!
In the same way, people everywhere are ignoring the effect of the smartphone on them. It is so interesting – everything else become less interesting, by comparison. People can pay attention to only so much – and the phone has claimed the central place in their attention.
People are automatically becoming like it. This unintended side-effect is big, and will be getting bigger, as time goes on.
People want outside forces to run their lives – and the phone can do this very well.