Smartphones have boosted our productivity: we have access to internet database wherever we go, we have social media apps that connect us with the entire world, and when we are alone, the music, videos, and images in our smartphones make us feel less lonely.
All these positive things are worth considering, but we should also take into account the impacts smartphones have on the human psyche and thought pattern.
Smartphones may trick us into feeling less lonely because we can watch videos or chat with friends, but in actuality, they have made us more alone than ever. If you want to have an idea about how much society is addicted to smartphones, have a look around you and you will see. Whenever you go in public, you will see many people staring at the screens of their smartphones scrolling down Twitter or Facebook feeds.
Whenever we are walking around the city or enjoying with friends on the dinner table or simply sitting in the company of our loved ones, we miss a few of the finest moments of our lives because our gaze is locked on the smartphones. We never recognize – let alone lament – how many beautiful moments we lose every day.
The interesting thing is that we force ourselves to believe that we are focusing on the both situations: on our smartphones as well as on the company around us, but this is not true. It’s not just about missing the finest moments of our life; it is also about our health and productivity: many types of research show that when we keep on staring at our smartphones, our productivity decreases 40% and the stress level constantly keeps on increasing.
We have made a list of 12 beautiful things that you miss when you are constantly staring at your smartphone.
- Repression of Your Thoughts
When you are constantly looking at your smartphones, you repress your thoughts because you are engaged in something that restricts your ability to prompt your thoughts, and this decreases you productivity level to a minimum. Many philosophers and intellectuals prefer loneliness and silence where they can prompt to flow their thoughts freely.
One such case is of Benjamin Franklin, who dedicated some time for “Free Association”, and in this time he let his thoughts move freely. It is believed that he came with some of the finest ideas during this time. In a similar manner, when you are sitting somewhere where you don’t have a smartphone, you will listen to the natural sounds of birds chirping, not those of beep sounds of your mobile telling you about notifications. You can also do yoga if you want a calm mind; if you are unable to spare much time to go to yoga classes, you can attend yoga classes online at discounted prices on Groupon.
- Taste of the Morning Coffee
You wake up in the morning and the first thing you search for is your smartphone. Once you access it, you go too deep into notifications and other activities on your mobile that you don’t even notice how great the taste of the coffee is that you are sipping.
It’s not only about the taste of the coffee; it’s much more than that. You sleep all night long to get relaxed and the first thing you see in the morning – your smartphone – floods you again with loads of information; it affects your whole day.
Try for once when you get up — don’t touch your smartphone; just have your coffee and enjoy its taste, and only then you will realize how fresh you feel.
- The ‘Don’t Walk’ Pedestrian Sign
Smartphones not only affect your psyche but your safety as well. Many people while using smartphones don’t notice the “Don’t Walk” sign and are hit by traffic. The research conducted by Ohio State University showed that the amounts of phone-related accidents and injuries are doubled since 2005.
The highest rate of people who bump into traffic is adults under the age of 30. Another research shows that the accidents which are caused by walking and texting are more than the accidents caused by driving and texting.
- The Joy of a Nice Meal
The joy of a nice meal comes from really enjoying its taste, not by taking pictures of its apparent presentation. While eating, if you put your smartphone aside, you can enjoy many things: the aesthetic beauty of your meal, its mouthwatering aroma, and what is the actual taste of your food. Enjoying the moment at present will be much more exciting than capturing it.
- Observing Life
Observing life as it goes on is the best possible experience that you can imagine. You can sit in the park and see people go by. You can see people playing different games and children busy in their own activities. You can watch a couple desperately in love, and staring into each other’s eyes. You can enjoy the sounds of hustle bustle. Above all, you can enjoy nature.
The green and lush surroundings can calm your mind and can prompt you to think. Such things also increase your poetic imagination.
- The Beauty of Seasons
God has gifted us with seasons, and we take them for granted. Each season is unique in a different way. You can enjoy the warmth of the winter sun sitting on a bench with your friend; you can enjoy the crowded nights of summer; you can enjoy the leaves scattered here and there in autumn season and you can enjoy the freshness and the bright colors of spring, only if you spare some time for these activities coming out of the world of your smartphones.
- The Company of Loved Ones
The modern family system has changed; we no longer prefer to live with our families because we want to be on our own. The family bonds keep on weakening, and the only thing that keeps different members of the family together is gathering of family members on picnic parties or on other formal occasions. But, we also lose the essence of these moments because our first priority is our smartphones. All the family is dining together and every person is using his smartphone individually. If we stop using smartphones – at least on such occasions – we will build strong relationships.
- An Unexpectedly Talented Street Performer
Sometimes when we are going somewhere or visiting a place we hear an unexpected performance but we fail to enjoy it because we are lost in our smartphones. Such performances can happen on the train terminal, on the boardwalk, or on the bridge in the park. We always take these shows for granted and never enjoy them. We should always feel the spontaneity of the moment; we can only do this if we realize that there are other things as well which exist outside the world of smartphones.
- Joy of Small Children
Have you ever seen little children lost in their own world without any tensions or worries, playing games, fighting and loving each other? Whenever you see such moments, you will instantly remember your own childhood. But, we never spare some time watching little children play and enjoy. If you watch little children play with their uninhibited minds, probably only then you will realize that you need some play in your own life as well.
- Someone Telling You That They Care
You are in a relationship and you are unable to spare sufficient time for your loved one is alright because everyone is busy doing one thing or the other, but once you meet, ignoring her and preferring your smartphone instead can yield horrible results. Maybe, your loved one wants to tell you something, but you don’t care and you are unable to realize it because you are lost in your smartphone. Ignore your smartphone and see how beautiful the results are.
- Observing Neighborhood
You probably walk the same path and same route, but have you ever noticed the minutest details that the surroundings offer you? If you haven’t, try it for once and only then you will know how beautiful it is to look at things. You might not be even aware of the new graffiti paintings in your neighborhood. Looking at these paintings, you can also get some inspiration.
- Missing the Stranger
Sometimes when we step into a bar, we see some stranger looking on us off and on. We too want to engage in conversation because making new friends is always good. But, we are only limited by our smartphones; suddenly we get a notification on our smartphone and we engage in it too deep that we forget for some time what is happening around us. When we come back to the real world finally, we realize the stranger has gone, not a stranger but a person who could possibly become our best friend.
Lisa Myers is a software engineer at Rebates Zone.