When my cell phone was stolen a couple of weeks ago, my dad sent me a snarky message asking if my hands are shaking from withdrawals. Haha. Please note that this 70-something-year-old man sent this message to me from an iPhone.
But anyway, I find sneering towards smart phone “obsession” absolutely exhausting. Like, how many more think pieces do I have to read about some pretentious 24-year-old going without a smartphone and embracing being disconnected? Sure, it’s rude AF to be glued to your cell phone when you’re supposed to be hanging out with your friends, but most of us have a sense of propriety.
Smartphones aren’t the death of communication, and it’s really annoying when people buy into that myth. Here are eight reasons why people who hate smartphones are the absolute worst.
1. They act as if before 2007, everybody always talked to each other all the time…always.
Um, there’s nothing disturbing about a train full of people looking down at their phones. Before phones, people were also minding their own business and stuffing their faces in newspapers. It’s not like everybody was holding hands and sang “Kumbayah” before the iPhone existed.
2. They act as if they’ve made us more selfish and petty.
I don’t understand people who get annoyed at folks who enjoy taking photos on their smartphones, selfies or otherwise. I’ve loved taking photos forever, ever since I was using throwaway cameras in middle school or my chunky digital camera in high school. Now, I can take photos a lot easier with a smart phone. People did take photos of food before smartphones! They even took pictures of themselves. They’re called self-portraits, y’all.
3. They act as if we’re more disconnected.
I can talk to a friend who lives in another country on a completely different continent without spending a zillion dollars to call them thanks to smartphones. Smartphones, with the help of social media, have created bonds, formed romances, and shared information with the world in the palm of our hands. How is that more disconnected than a time before smartphones?
4. They act as if everything was more spontaneous and whimsical before smartphones.
Oh God, I remember this one dude once wrote a piece lamenting an era when we could actually get lost and explore the world without the help of GPS. Dude, getting lost is not cute. It’s stressful AF. It’s nice to be able to get somewhere without having to write all the directions down or print out Mapquest directions.
5. They act as if more harm than good comes out of them.
Let’s not act like people don’t use smartphone capabilities to do sketchy things. But we actually have smartphones to thank for a lot of important things. People use smartphones to capture instances of police brutality that would have otherwise been pushed under the rug. People use smartphones to share their real time experiences during political protests and in war zones. Let’s not act like people only use smartphones to make stupid Vine videos.
6. They act as if they’re destroying romantic relationships.
— The Guardian (@guardian) October 15, 2015
OH NO! A COUPLE…IN BED…ON THEIR SMARTPHONES! THE HORROR!
Listen, my boyfriend and I chill out in bed, scrolling through our phones in silence pretty regularly. We also share funny or interesting articles, photos, or memes we come across. Doesn’t that count as communicating? Would it be better if I shared something funny that I came across in a scroll made of papyrus? This isn’t all that different from folks reading a book in bed–something you can also do on a smartphone!
7. They act as if they’re straight up ruining the way we spend our free time.
How many more side-by-side comparisons do I have to see of happy families chatting across the dinner table in the 1950s, compared to our current generation of seemingly mindless, screen obsessed junkies eating over our Twitter feeds? Newsflash: People have had entertaining, hand-held distractions for ages, from newspapers, to comic books, to GameBoys, etc. This isn’t new.
8. They act as if the world was so much better before smartphones.
I’ve lived most of my life in a pre-smartphone universe. There were still wars, murders, sexism, racism, and everything else horrible you can imagine. Technology changes and comes with good things and bad things. Deal with it.
Do you actually agree that smartphones are killing our ability to communicate? Do you think that we’re better off with or without smartphones? Tell us in the comments!