By Mohammed Raqueeb
Smartphones have clearly revolutionized the way the world works. They have increased our ease of living drastically. While smartphones might come with an instruction manual, unfortunately, our brain does not. The brain generally prefers a trial and error method for learning. Now, with young folks using smartphones for up to ten hours every day, there is more than ever a need for education on what smartphones can do if over/misused. If people can tap into that sweet spot where they are not using their smartphone mindlessly for hours, it would be a great mix.
“Use smartphones consciously, not mindlessly”.
1. Your Smartphone Is Making You A Slave to your Thoughts
Do you presume that every thought that comes into your mind regarding something that has to be done without your phone is beneficial? Out of the total thoughts that deal with your phone, how many haven’t you done? The reality is that smartphones hold their owners so tightly that one wouldn’t even think of resisting from engaging with their smartphone. Once the thought of doing something on their smartphone occurs, the person enters into a sort of zombie mode that enables them to drop everything and turn to the closest social media platform or application.
As you are reading this article, anytime you might think of switching to YouTube, you switch to YouTube, start watching a video, see an interesting thumbnail, change the video, start checking Whatsapp and this goes on and on every single day. It is absolutely fine to be directed by your thoughts but only when your thoughts are work-oriented. Becoming a slave to your thoughts and desires by doing everything that you think is not really helpful, it just reduces you to a conscienceless and directionless person - so before you get directed by your thoughts, think if you actually need to click on that app.
In other words, we are all reinforcing instant gratification behaviour every single day and it isn’t helping. As Aristotle once said, “you are what you repeatedly do”.
2. The Notifications Explosion Is Increasing Ignorance And Decreasing Patience
How many messages and notifications do you receive in a single day across all platforms of social media? Out of those, how many would you actually say are important? Take a rough guess at the number of specific messages and number of irrelevant messages.
How do you think the rate of irrelevant notifications influences you? It Increases ignorance because the irrelevant notifications are so frequently unimportant and decrease patience because they appear so often that they interfere with your concentration. When was the last time you watched a long video uninterrupted by notifications? This normalization of frequent interruption just increases ignorance to a point that you might start ignoring important information too. So, switch off notifications for all the apps you consider unimportant.
3. Social Media Is The New Virtual Reality And It Makes You Think Selfishly
Every single picture that is uploaded on social media has a purpose and how many do you think are unedited? Stop believing every post that you see because posts are crafted in such a way to serve a purpose that doesn’t care about reality or authenticity. I write emails for myself, I post pictures for myself, a content creator creates content to boost their profile (influencing others is a by-product), I run ads for my business to aid growth but the core motive is always to benefit myself first. Social media makes you think selfishly.
Alienating Stranger Environment and Deception:
Most people wouldn’t talk to strangers as comfortably as they would with people they know well. But this has undergone a drastic change with the evolution of thousands of social media platforms. Almost every person who has an account on a dating app is desperate to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. The person has FAILED to achieve a relationship through non-social media means. It’s interesting to see how strangers comfortably chat with each other, without knowing anything about the other and even if they do know a bit, the information isn’t authenticated, is it?
Guess what, at least 53% people on dating apps lie about their physique, income and age. I bet, the person who has uploaded the real picture of themselves would have less chance of being liked by an aspiring dater than someone who has uploaded an edited picture or a picture wearing makeup.
Smartphones deceive you by not allowing you to see the whole - you have no idea about the circumstances and the family of the person, you might just swipe right on a dating app. When you are sad, for example, you just find something that gives you pleasure and makes you forget about your sadness but there will be a situation in the future where you will be left with no option but to face it and a smartphone might not have facilitated you with these realizations so that you could prepare. Users of dating apps are really naive.
"In a nutshell, social media is deceiving you by not providing the full picture of an individual."
4. Songs And Movies Are Taking You To A World That Does Not Exist
You may watch as many movies as want, but the fact is that what happens in movies doesn’t happen in real life, at least in most movies. With the evolution of platforms like Netflix, there has been a huge paradigm shift. People are using these platforms for hours every single day. What you tend to ignore is that movie creation is a business like every other with the aim of making money. You lose your time and energy by watching and they make money.
Let’s take a song, “Steal my girl”, by the band One Direction and consider a line, “If I don’t have her, the sun doesn’t shine or the world doesn’t turn”. Yes, this has been used metaphorically, but there would be many young folks who would actually consider this a reality. Ultimately, the listener is miserably fooled. If a person chooses to use his intellect, then any person wouldn’t listen to too many songs or watch too many movies.
5. If You Play Games For Several Hours a Day, Read Below:
If I were to ask you a question, why do you play games so much, what would your reply be? “I am interested“, or “it removes my stress”, or “I wanted to be the highest scorer in the game”, or “I make money out of it”, or “it increases my knowledge”, or “I consider it as my life”, or “it builds my career”, or “it helps my family in some way”, or “ I am analytical, I observe interesting features of the game and I am trying to develop a game”. The reply can be any one of these reasons or a combination of any I’ve just quoted. A majority of gamers would say I am interested and want to get the highest score. I’ve got a message for you: there are real things you could be working on which can provide you with a better life.
Alternatively, there are also things which give you temporary pleasure and create problems in the long term. Games have a tendency of trapping you in such a way that makes you play at any cost. There is also a risk of losing precise eyesight, declines in the ability to concentrate, a state of sleeplessness, and over-anxiety. You have got to develop some room in your brain to analyze if over-playing video games is actually detrimental to your health.
6. The Content Explosion is Leading you Astray
Do you remember how many youtube channels you are subscribed to?
You likely subscribed to them with the intent that they'd be of some value to you. How many videos have you marked for watch later and haven't actually watched yet? You have likely saved a lot of posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the intention of going through them later. Could you go through them later?
The fact of the matter is that often before we turn to the specific content
we are looking for, there is always something else that will lead us astray.
Mohammed Raqueeb is a computer science student and a content creator. Projectwakeup creates content on being productive in today’s digital world of distractions and to spread awareness of humanitarian crises. Projectwakeup believes that for a sound mind being mindful is paramount and for a better human, being aware of humanitarian crises is important.
Disclaimer: All views expressed in this piece belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views of Demographica as a company.