In this fast pacing age of timeless technology, it is almost inevitable to entirely disassociate oneself from gadgetry and ingenious devices. Our acquired (or maybe, innate) dependency on the same is what has led us to become slaves to our own creation. While it would be absolutely bizarre to say that we can do without it, it does make sense to insinuate a counterbalanced usage. A mobile phone is one contraption that we are tied to endlessly, owing to the virtual reality that we are all a part of today. Be it informal communication via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger or formal interaction through e-mails, the virtual world has us hooked in more ways than just one.
WhatsApp, the supposed mother of all evils, stems from a very ingenious idea, ideally introduced to facilitate cross-platform instant messaging between two parties or more, in the shortest possible time and without any additional tariffs as against the ones incurred on carrier-billed text messaging. It is immensely useful and rightfully serves the purpose for which it had been materialised in the first place. However, with over 1.3 billion active users, WhatsApp yields as many media junkies as does cocaine. Instagram, the abode of wanderlust and a platform for artsy dispositions, ranks first in the list of the most detrimental applications for the youth, closely followed by Snapchat on number two, according to a new report by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK.
In a society, driven by those who monopolise the economy through media, it would not be particularly wrong to suggest that a mobile phone serves as the catalyst in reworking a downward spiral. Smartphones, as we are all equipped with, come with its myriad features, aimed at generating revenue through its applications. This especially holds true in today’s time and age where everything is digitalised — from grocery lists, e-retail orders, web articles, PDF formats of scholarly books to online newspapers, e-fitness routines and basic utilitarian applications. Whilst the increasing fundamentalism of the digital age can also be viewed under the fancy radar of tantalisation, it is far more important to trace down its ill implications. Apart from being specifically harmful to the visual faculties of an individual, it also visibly demonstrates a negative impact on the mental well-being of people.
FOMO -the Fear Of Missing Out, is a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social anxiety is characterised by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing”. It is a legitimate phenomenon that urges people to frequently check their news feed on their social media handles and instills a sense of perpetual apprehension in addicts. It looms large over their insecurities and distorted identities and uses it as an assemblage to emasculate thinking minds. The need to check one’s phone regularly within short time intervals, regardless of any profound agenda and falling prey to false intuitions about activity on the same, are certain influences that a gadget as enslaving as a mobile phone can have on its customer.
Dr. Sally Andrews, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, told The Huffington Post that young adults use their smart phones twice as many times as they think they do which implies that its usage transcends the realm of consciousness and is a habitual pursuit of an average individual. Once imprisoned into this insurmountable lair of validation, it gets utterly difficult to break free from it. It will eventually start hindering an individual’s personality as well as professional life. As they say, old habits die hard, it is important to not let this tech-madness garner uncensored proclivity.
With both its pros and cons outweighing each other, it is the responsibility of its able users to tell right from wrong. As we are moving towards a progressively digital epoch, it is our duty to use the resources available at our disposal, fittingly.
Image Credits: LinkedIn