Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Letter of the day: Don't be slaves to cell phones

Published:Monday | June 1, 2015 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

We have entered an age where the phrase 'rule of thumb' has less to do with a generally accepted way of doing things and more about the apparent domination of the short, thick digit of one's hand in using a smartphone.

Funnily enough, in writing this article, the word-processing software of my choice prompted me to capitalise the word 'smartphone' - I guess I was not giving it the much-needed level of respect.

Do not get me wrong, the smartphone (yes, I have now capitalised) is fantastic:

n It has been a positive agent of globalisation - allowing businesses and consumers to access markets never previously available;

n It has given us better access to information online; and

n It has drastically reduced the cost of communications.

With all the benefits of the smartphone, however, it has come with its downfalls. Because of it, many of us have become social monsters. For example, at a table of, say, five persons out at dinner, it is typical that all five persons will be on their respective smartphones at the same time and, in an extreme situation, one of the five may even be sending instant messages to one of the other four just a hand length away. How ridiculous, right?

In my view, we are spending an excessive amount of time on the smartphone and it is detracting from our experiences in life. Even more devastating is the fact that the Internet and the social media platforms to which we subscribe and access through our smartphones have given us the freedom to apply this cyber make-up, where we are able to misrepresent ourselves in order to be considered one of the socially beautiful.

So what is the endgame? I call for us to simply put down the smartphones for a minute; log out of the social networks; and unplug ourselves. You will be surprised how much time you will have to enjoy the company of the person sitting right beside you or even a new hobby.

If not, at some point in the future, we all might be walking around with oversized thumbs.

STUART SOUTH

stuartsouth91@gmail.com

Kingston 6