Smartphones have made us socially dumb

Once I was waiting for my train at a station in Navi Mumbai. The train was running late so I started reading a book to while away time. A little later, the rush increased and so did the noise of ‘bhelwalas’ around me. I kept my book in the bag and started observing people around me. A majority of them seemed to be college-going youngsters.

Most of them were busy texting and playing games on their phones. Some were listening songs, others talking on the phone and almost all of them had headphones perched on their heads.

Not a soul was interested in talking to the person standing next to him. Everyone was in their world. I know it is quite a common site here in Mumbai, but it provoked me to write this essay.

India is one of the world’s biggest market for smartphones and gadgets. More than 90 crore people in our country use mobile phones, out of which 30 crore have internet access in it, and the number is rapidly increasing. It is a fascinating figure. Smartphones are no longer a luxury but a necessity. They are cheap and affordable.

But aren’t these technologically advanced gadgets spoiling our social skills? Aren’t they hindering our social interactions? Aren’t they making us more tech dependant and reducing our liking for one-to-one conversation?

It’s simple, why would a person waste his time and energy in talking to a person when he can get things done at his fingertips on his smartphone application! That’s the current scenario. The frequent use of cell phone causes health hazards and even cancer! The cellphone towers and the radiation emanating from them are harmful to humans and birds alike. Yes, I agree, in some cases, they are a saviour but aren’t we getting to addicted to them? There’s no over-exaggeration if I say that smartphones have increased, but our smartness has come under threat. Mobile phones are an excellent medium of communication no doubt. But people in India, especially our young generations have a big misunderstanding that phone call can make up for a face-to-face conversation. The misunderstanding has resulted in a misinterpretation that smartphones are for conversations! Folks, it’s really important to know that cell phones are for ‘communication’ and not for ‘conversation’. Sadly, we don’t see the difference in their meanings.

Until a few years ago, on my birthday, I used to wait eagerly for my friends and relatives to come to my place and celebrate the occasion. But now it’s just enough for us to put a WhatsApp message, a group icon, wish as the status and Display Pictures of the fellow to convey our emotions. Maybe 10 years later, we will only send one ’emoji’ and not even a text. It’s high time. Let’s really think about it for a while and convey it to our family and friends. Let’s make a difference. Let’s not forget that we are social animals.

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