For better or for worse, life is filled with distractions. My typical day spent at the Daily Nexus affirms this assertion. For some reason, my office has this abnormally large window overlooking Storke Plaza, meaning whenever a good looking girl walks by – which at this school is wonderfully frequent – I am distracted from my work.
My mother keeps warning me about getting carpal tunnel, but lately the only thing I’m worried about is my neck. Being bombarded by sexy females really takes a toll on your rotary skills.
It’s not surprising that in this 21st century world of constant distraction, every other person I knew growing up was diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Back in the day, it was Nintendo, 56K porn and the snake game everyone had on their flashy Nokia cell phones.
Today, it’s scantly clad girls on bicycles, iPods and smartphones. And while hot women on bicycles and music compliment our society, the latter item on this list – smartphones – are doing nothing but harm.
For those less tech savvy, smartphones refer to any fast working, mini-computing device, popular with business professionals, their spoiled children and any one else eager to have the top of the line mobile gadget. The two most popular devices in this field are Apple’s iPhone and the BlackBerry. By allowing its users to check their email and send SMS on the go, smartphones effectively keep their owners connected (or as I’m hoping to argue, disconnected) from the world.
If you’ve been to Starbucks, struggled through lecture or sat in an airplane waiting to takeoff, you’ve surely seen a BlackBerry user plugging away at his little blue soul-eating device. As much as I enjoy checking my e-mail and keeping in touch with my friends, I don’t feel obligated to do so every 15 seconds.
The same cannot be said for smartphone users, who seem to spend more time typing away on their miniature keyboards than a hipster does updating his fedora collection.Fortunately, most smartphone owners are aware of their bad habits. Take my friend, for example, who affectionately refers to her BlackBerry as her “CrackBerry.”
Despite an apparent understanding of the problem, smartphone users don’t appear to be cutting back on their use of these devices. Just the other day, I came home to see my roommate mulling about the house in a pathetic state of self-misery, iPhone in hand. I wondered what could possibly be wrong. Before I could ask if his dog had died, he belted out, “My fucking iPhone man. I’m fucked.”
After explaining to me that all his data had been lost, I told him he’d be OK. It was, after all, just a phone. Right? No, no, no. “You don’t understand,” he said. “This is my life.”
And apparently, he’s not alone in his – albeit ludicrous – sentiment. In a recent work-life study from Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, it was reported that 35 percent of smartphone users would choose their BlackBerry or iPhone over their spouses. Considering the implications of this poll; I’m sure the actual numbers are really higher than they appear.
Nevertheless, the poll is quite telling. For one thing, it helps explain why my roommate was so depressed that I had to beg him to come out with us that night. On another level, the study tells a sobering tale of degradation our society has seen itself welcome in.
When a third of BlackBerry users would rather have instant access to games like brickblocker (where you shoot a tiny ball at virtual “bricks,” in order to build up points) than to an actual person – dare I say it – they love, well… something isn’t going right.
Sadly, I don’t see a bright future when it comes to smartphones and other distracting things. Technology is as popular as ever, and moving so fast that sometimes I feel out of the loop if I don’t check the news every other hour. Of course, it would help if I had my iPhone to send me a tech update. Now that I think about it, my birthday is coming up soon. Dad?