A Favorite Hobby for Modern Humans - Smart Phones

It is quite amazing to actually notice how an idle mind immediately and instinctively goes to the phone and starts scrolling for a few minutes and then drops it back and then starts to scroll again. By scrolling, I mean the typical social media signage for when its used in a smart phone. We explore the apps by doing nothing other than scrolling for the most part. Now, I thought I was a very obsessive person and therefore I was over-doing this habit a bit much but every time I meet my friends which is mostly few times in a year, all of us inevitably are somehow stuck in the scrolling loop from time to time. We enjoy each others company despite at times doing nothing but scrolling sitting next to each other. It looked totally normal to me initially but for the past few months, this has begun to strike me as something odd. As a civilization, human societies are beginning to spend so much time on doing the same activity. Such a coherent synchronous behaviour by masses of population has never been witnessed in the past or expected to happen. Maybe I thought reading was something several people did in the past at the same time but then they were not connected and they were definitely not in the large numbers of social media users we have now. 

Let us consider an alien visiting the planet earth and invisibly studying the nature and the forms of life on earth. So they will clearly be amazed by what this one species (homo sapiens) has done to the earth that changed it drastically. And then they will begin to see the members of the large societies with big buildings and huge roads are mostly stuck with their heads bent and thumbs scrolling through light emitting devices. The aliens will begin to see the majority of the members do the same activity as they walk on the road, commute on the transport systems, sit in their homes, toilets, in several other buildings. They will definitely think that those members are doing something very important if that is an activity that they do for most of the time during the time they are awake.

Why are we so addicted to our phones? I was surprised by how instinctively we do it as well. Very easily we fall for this habit of scrolling and every time we take our phones we end up doing just that. Is it a bad thing to do? Is it a good thing to do? Does it make any difference at all considering we do this for the most part in a day? We may need to answer some big questions that may arise in the next 10 or so years when most of the populations may start showing adverse physiological signs of excessive exposure to smart phone lights.

I used to believe - even to this day, to an extent that using facebook for gathering news, current affairs, sharing photos, interesting thoughts, memes, quotes was good thing for me to keep myself updated or refreshed from now and then. That's how it felt in the early days and still I feel there are benefits to sharing and seeing what others think and do. But at the same time, after so many years of repetitive phone usage doing just that has kind of made me reflect on this seriously. All this talk and after writing this I am going to voluntarily be stuck in the scroll loop for a bit before realizing I haven't brushed my teeth.

I think the key phrase to remember every time we take a smart phone and begin scrolling would be - 'use it wisely' - like how Dumbledore says to Harry (in the unsigned letter) while gifting him the invisibility cloak. Internet and social media are quickly becoming a new platform of interaction and communication. If things are as free with internet as they are now (which is how it must be), we will definitely see reality shift into the realm of digital universe. We must be prepared to balance our virtual reality with the real reality and exist peacefully. Allowing ourselves to be consumed by this flooding of information, we will lose the ability to think clear and straight (if we had to). Instead of blindly scrolling through, we could try paying closer attention to what we are scrolling through and try to dig down deeper on a few of them to kindle some interest. Perhaps better ways of using these apps may be invented in the future. I think the transition of interface from hands to eyes will happen soon in the coming years. Will things be better then? I think so. The more immersion we get, the better the time spent. I think then, we will be able to get a good grip on the virtual reality which will result in stability. Exciting days set to manifest in the coming years! 


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