Smartphones have made the internet and connectivity ever present. We take our phones wherever we go and feel lost without them. We feel we need connectivity but, as discussed previously , it is a much deeper need than that.
Smartphones are our catalyst for instant gratification. Any time we feel bored or restless we can pick up our phone and get a little spike of dopamine by looking at a picture of a funny cat, validating our virtual image on social media, or catching a missed call or text.
The consequence of constant stimulation
Our smartphones have the ability to stimulate us whenever we (seemingly) have nothing better to do, but what is being lost?
I was speaking to a friend recently who said she has to use her phone when alone: “I wouldn’t know what to do with myself” she said as she finished answering a text.
As she was putting the finishing touches to her texting masterpiece I got my phone out of my pocket and looked at it; bright and inviting, my twitter feed flashing at me, a new email and text from my mobile phone provider informing me of Black Friday. I stopped, and thought, ‘What would I do without my smartphone when there is nothing else to do?’
As my thoughts ran away with me it struck me, “maybe exactly that; thinking”
Thinking time is underrated. It is now a time where we switch off from others, we conserve energy and connect with ourselves, listen to our physiological and mental needs.
A space of formulation, reflection and growth which we have now delegated to the internet. The internet now fills the space with funny memes and online games.
Have we lost the ability to connect with that space? And, as a result, ourselves?
Our need for constant connection and stimulation allows us to switch off from the world but in fact, does the opposite.
‘Needing’ to beat that level of Candy Crush Saga, or to get a response from a friend actually depletes our energy.
Next time you pick up your phone, give a thought to what made you take it out in the first place, and think about what you are using it to achieve.
Is it imperative that you do so? Or is it only to fill up space that would otherwise be spent on yourself?