With the rapid development of technology, phones are no longer only used to
call others, instead, the new type of phones—smartphones, provide multifunction
for the users. People nowadays are able to deal with matters and get themselves
connected to the world, simply by using the smartphones. However, the excessive
use and addiction to the smartphones occupy most of our time, which gradually
isolates us from others and pushes people further apart.
Many have argued that by using smartphones, people are able to avoid the
tension and embarrassment between each other. However, by focusing only on the
phones, we lose the chance to break the ice and socialize with people, which makes
us less active in socializing and more isolated from others. “When we’re deeply
immersed in our gadgets, we miss the chance to make new friendships, renew old
ones, or simply say hello to a stranger.” (Weinstein,2013) Take myself as an example,
I once attended a welcome party, where no one was making new friends or chatting
with others. Because people were busy phubbing their phones to avoid both
socializing and the embarrassment between strangers.
Some people argue that by updating the latest events happening around us on
our smartphones, we are able to constantly be alert to the unsafe situations and
potential criminal around us. However, in fact, smartphones often disconnect us
from the surroundings and other people besides us, which could put us in
dangerous situation unconsciously. “Suspects do target individuals that are using
their smartphones since they tend to be more inattentive to their
surroundings”(Shyy) Take the 2014 Taipei Metro attack for example, according to
the video record of the attack, many victims were those who were focusing on
phubbing their smartphones and unaware of the attack, when those besides them
were already badly injured.
Others argue that smartphones help us to build stronger relationships, since we
are able to keep in touch constantly with those we love, even those who are far
away from us. However, it can be argued that smartphones are actually reducing
the intimacy between people.” Technology allows us to be constantly connected to
the world, but it can also make us even more disconnected from each other.”
(Kerner,2013) Take myself for example, I used to play cards with my cousins in the
Chinese New Year reunion. However, in the recent years, we no longer play cards
together. Instead, we phub our own cellphones respectively.
Finally, some say that the multifunction of smartphones allows us to deal with
many things at the same time. Nevertheless, using smartphones when we are having
face to face conversation actually blinds us from seeing the facial expression and
having eye contact with others, which decreases the quality of conversation and
pushes people further apart.” When we send a text or email, or we post or tweet, we
lose all but what is being said and so there is a lot of misinformation,
miscommunication, and hurt feelings, because we don’t have those other sources of
information that help us imbue some kind of meaning into what somebody is saying.” (Roberts)
In conclusion, the convenience of smartphones is supposed to bring people
closer together, since people are able to get the latest news instantly and
communicate constantly with others, whenever and wherever they are. However,
smartphones usually isolate people from one another, by being a way for us to avoid
socializing and a way to distract us from the people and surroundings around us.
Moreover, with the use of smartphones, people become both less engaged in the
present and the conversations. Therefore, instead of bringing people closer together,
the usage of smartphones actually pushes people further apart.