It is without question the impacts of mobile phones on society are tremendous. They have changed the culture. Some see the positives while others see the negatives. Most however don’t see anything as they are too busy staring at their phone!
Zombie Nation – Impacts of Mobile Phones on Society
They haunt the trains and the restaurants. They can be found in just about every public place. Faces buried in their phones. Their brains plugged into another world. Phone zombies!
Their physical body is in the real world but there mind is somewhere else. If you talk to them you may get autopilot responses before they continue gazing into the endless abyss of information.
They cross the busy car filled streets unaware of their personal safety. They are plugged in and zoned out.
Gone are the days when you could have a conversation whilst on public transport or while waiting in line. Humans have been replaced with phone zombies.
A new world is born
Take a look around. More people than ever have their noses buried in phones. An artificial man-made world which promises freedom. Freedom to access information and stay connected wherever you go.
A lofty promise but did it deliver or are we becoming less connected than ever?
When the first phone call was made on April 3rd 1973 I doubt Martin Cooper knew to what degree his invention would radically change the culture in the coming decades.
We have come a long way since the first commercial phone call was made on the 1st of January 1985. Fast forward to today and 94% of UK adults own a mobile phone, 76% of those adults own a smart phone.
Mobile phones are not themselves evil. They are a technological tool. Something to be used with purpose to achieve a desired outcome.
The issues arise when an endless stream of information sits within a primates pocket beckoning them to continue using.
This is when the impacts of mobile phones on society become negative. This is how humans are replaced with zombies.
Cocaine for the brain
Mobiles phones make promises that even king Zurkzees would struggle to surpass. Promises to never be truly alone. Promises to access anything the human brain can conjure within the palm of your hand.
This is why those little blocks of technology are so addictive. How addictive? Cocaine addictive!
Every time you receive a text or check out the latest loser Kardashian video on YouTube your brain gets a shot of dopamine.
Dopamine is a pleasure hormone and rewards curiosity and seeking-style behaviour. This was good for the tribesman as exploring and understanding his environment meant his new found knowledge could help him survive and thrive.
Finding out what Justin Bieber had for dinner last night only clogs the brain with useless information and makes you stupid. Unfortunately our primitive pleasure-reward system doesn’t know the difference.
New information is new information so you get a shot of dopamine anyway further feeding your addiction for pointless information.
Useless information for the phone zombie is what cocaine is to the junkie.
The elephant in the room
The impacts of mobile phones on society have been far reaching. Social interactions have been drastically affected.
Unless you are hanging out with the cool kids chances are the last social event you attended someone used their phone.
This is despite the majority people agreeing that it is not acceptable to use a mobile phone in most social settings.
We have all been there. We are waiting for the punch line of a great story and a phone zombies pocket starts beeping and they are unable to resist the urge to answer the call.
Just leave it! But they can’t. It could be Alfred calling the bat phone.
The social paradigms have been skewed. What was once considered rude is quickly becoming tolerated. Etiquette is taking a bashing.
Conversation is one of the most human things we do and it is losing its value. We are also becoming worse at it. The more time people spend online the less comfortable they are at communicating face to face.
Sometimes we point the finger but other times we are to blame. If we are to lessen the negative impacts mobile phones have on society we need to collectively become more conscious about using them.
The technological tool mentality
Mobile phones are here to stay. What we can change is how we use them. They are a tool.
The same way a fire steel is a tool. After we have finished lighting a fire the tool goes away. We don’t sit around making sparks just because we can.
We should learn to view mobile phones the same way. Instead of texting, calling and searching out of boredom we should learn to put the tool down when it doesn’t need to be used.
If we set aside a few blocks of time each day to check our mobile phones it will prevent unnecessary use.
If you are a phone zombie this will make you experience withdraw symptoms as does a cold turkey junkie. You may get bored, irritable and find you fingers constantly twitching for your pockets.
Just remember boredom is good. It helps the brain recover. You will start returning to the real world and your connections with others will deepen.
To regain our conversation sanctuaries we need set aside sacred spaces where mobile phones should not be used.
I would go as far to say the majority of social settings should become as they once were….phone free.
Restaurants, campfires, and homes will be all become more tranquil without phone zombies haunting them.
We need to learn to curb our addiction and stop letting it interfere with everyday life.
This is how the negative impacts of mobile phones on society can be reduced.
Let’s metaphorically start killing phone zombies and start rewilding humans. Humans that enjoy presence and real connection with others.