The first theme I would like to speak about in this blog is the use of mobile phones.
I will be splitting this topic into parts. The first being, how mobiles have made us rely on being permanently connected.
I will not be discussing any aspects relating to social media or other functions of the smartphone (games, music, video) as I feel these subjects deserve their own section but would like us to consider how much we use the basic connective arsenal of a mobile phone in our daily lives (calls texts and emails).
In the year 2000 around 49% of people owned a mobile phone. The figure now stands at 94%.
In the last 15 years not having a mobile phone has taken you from being in the majority to a minority in England.
Connection is a prevalent theme in technology and specifically mobile devices. Socially then if everyone else is using devices, we feel obliged ourselves to use them.
Even more so in business, we feel we need to be on hand 24/7 to answer that email or to resolve an issue.
Let’s think about that for a second. With a work phone, we are carrying the responsibility of our place of work in our pocket. If we did not respond to an email why not? How often should I be checking my work email? If I don’t check it will someone else resolve the issue and get the credit? What am I missing out on?
(As stated a previous Therapy in London blog I have missed out on work due to not being able to access my personal email instantly.)
If we allow the pendulum to swing back to our personal lives the same can be said with a missed call or a text from friends.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see my Samsung glow. I have a text message, I am busy at work but who is it. The thought comes into my head (‘had spare tickets to the movie premiere, but you didn’t get in contact soon enough so I’m taking Jeff instead’) The urge is uncontrollable. I must find out who it is, what they want and respond in adequate finesse, further distracting me from my work at hand and entering into a convocation I do not have time for but feel compelled to perpetuate. (In actuality it is more likely to be your significant other sending you a picture of a cat, but we will get onto animal pictures in a later blog.)
What’s Your Relationship To Technology?
This is not so much about the mobile phone. It is about my relationship to it?
Connection is ‘seductive, addictive but also necessary in this technology-charged world. We’re expected to be on hand 24 hours a day. What I invite you to consider is at what cost?
A study of students asked to switch off their technology for a day found that many said they felt “emotions such as fretful, confused, anxious, irritable, insecure, nervous, restless, crazy, addicted, panicked, jealous, angry, lonely, dependent, depressed, jittery and paranoid”.
Let’s reflect back on that. Many students feel the same emotion as a drug withdraw from being unplugged from technology for one day.
What I am talking about here is not new. We know that we have a connection with each other whilst phones have become an integral part of our lives. In fact leader of the study, Proff Moeller, said ‘Many students could not give up technology as would be ostracised from their friends’. The way I understand the statement then is that it would be socially detrimental for many of us to give up technology.
So to test out the research mentioned I have decided to do some heuristic research into the subject
I have decided to spend 3 days without my mobile phone, social media.
This is a study to see the effect of not having access to a mobile phone or any other communication device out of my home environment, has on me over the three day period. Therefore I will be still using Emails at home and make calls from my home phone.
To see day one of the research please click here.