When I was growing up, in the 90s, no one owned a cellphone. To use the internet we had to use dial-up which required that no one be using the land line phone. So we never were allowed to use the internet for long periods of time because what if someone needed to get in touch with a member of our family? They couldn’t.
Now, in 2014, EVERYONE, starting from infancy (no joke), owns either an Iphone, Ipad, Android, Tablet, or some sort of electronic device that allows users to connect to the internet. Where did this constant need to be in front of a cellphone screen at all times come from? Almost every other day there are stories in the news about fatal car accidents caused by one of the drivers involved texting and driving. In the 90s, there was no txting, if we had something to say to a person we simply walked on over to his or her house and had a face to face conversation ( I know that concept seems far fetched).
In an article titled “Becoming Screen Literate” that I read for my Introduction to Writing Arts class the author Kevin Kelly makes a very good point when he says “When technology shifts, it bends the culture”. Children who are raised today in this “Web 2.0” era are raised on Ipads and Iphones. Twenty years ago when I was a toddler it was down right socially unacceptable for babies to play with anything that wasn’t a teething ring or plastic baby toy. Does having an Ipad plopped in front of you at such a young age have an affect on the way you will grow up? Of course it does.
Technology has and is taking over every component of the world, therefore our culture is simply shifting. One of my colleagues, Jared Hussey, tweeted a very amusing article the other day that I think any person obsessed with their cell phone needs to take a look at. The article is called ” The NoPhone” written by The NoPhone Team.
This article is essientally a sales pitch for the teams product which they named the NoPhone. They describe the phone as a”technology-free alternative to constant hand-to-phone contact that allows you to stay connected with the real world”. (Pictured Below)
This “phone” is basically a piece of plastic that gives the illusion of holding a phone, but has no connection to the internet. It is encouraging people to put down their cellphones for once in their life and get back to reality and the real people standing all around. In the testimonials section of this article Whitney R states that “”With the NoPhone, my eye contact skills have improved 73%.”
The NoPhone article is a spoof, but it sends a real message. Technology is great, it has help us as a culture progress in the right direction, but there is a point where too much of anything becomes unhealthy,Children should be encouraged to get out and play with the children that live in their neighborhoods not to sit in a dark room and play games on their Ipad. People should feel comfortable having face to face conversations without having to look down at their phone every five seconds to see if they have received a text. As technology advances, generations with change, and who’s telling how cultures will continue to shift. In the video below Gary Turk explains perfectly the negative affect the constant use of cellphones is having on society as a whole.