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How smart phones have ruined our lives

By 陈慧钰 ( Updated: 2014-07-30 18:11

The other day, a friend had a talk with me. She spoke with an air of seriousness and anxiety.“I doubt that I’m ill. What shall I do?” she whispered.

She had discovered she has a morbid fascination with her smart phone. She couldn’t’t live without it for even five minutes.

“I’ll get cross if I can’t receive messages because of a poor signal,” she continued. “I even can’t fall asleep with my phone power off.”

I was shocked, not at the symptoms she described, but because they can all be found in me as well. Yet I was relieved that I wasn’t the only person who showed these strange warning signs.

Survey after survey has revealed the overwhelming majority in modern society share the same problems. But most people neglect them or take them for granted. So I too didn’t’pay them much attention.

Much as we ignore it, it is a pervasive phenomenon. Along with the development of society, these symptoms are increasingly conspicuous. Many electronic products seem to appear overnight: the PC, tablet, smart phone and so on. The more we own the more possessed we become and seem to enjoy it. When we immerse ourselves in them our minds can become controlled by them. This once unidentified disease is now defined as “smart phone syndrome” by scientists.

So what have smart phones, or to be precise, the Internet brought us? There are many effects but the most concerning is that it has taken away our ability to think. The old saying: “There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes” now appears incorrect.

Once, when asked the theme of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, we could come up with many answers when viewing the play from diverse angles.

But let’s see what happens now. Students are smart enough to think up so called perfect answers. Does the saying: Great minds think alike work here? I’m afraid not.

Smart phones are so smart they save us many troubles. We can easily reach hyperlinks to the answers we need on Wikipedia through Google by the mere touch of a button.

What the Net seems to be doing is chip away our capacity for concentration and contemplation. Our mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. US writer Nicholas Carr said: “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a jet ski.”

These electronic products have deprived us of our creativity and capability to think independently. Most of us are at a loss. We are just following the surge of ocean-mass information. In this everyone-is-parroting world, what if the man, who stands at the original link of the whole information chain, made a mistake?

In this information-explosion age, everyone is a thirsty sponge, absorbing information which is renewed every few minutes. There is no doubt it will inevitably lead to a result - the isolation of human beings. Have you ever noticed that you are talkative online but fear or even hate to greet people in reality?

The relationships maintained by the invisible air-waves are very fragile, so the truth is we human beings are isolated from each by this flat, brick-like product. Maybe two hundred years from now we will become creatures that cannot speak their mind and only communicate online.

Some people are already slaves to houses, cars or other matters but the number of “smart phone slaves” is increasing. Respected medical journal The Lancet looked into how smart phones affect teenagers and concluded: the smart phone is the main inducer of diseases such as glaucoma, cervical spondylopathy and short sight that are not commonly found in teenagers.

The message is clear: smart phones and other electronic products have ruined our lives. If we don’t rein in our addiction it will be a disaster for our minds and interpersonal relationships as a whole.

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