How many times a day do you see people walking past you or even driving with their eyes glued to an electronic device of some sort? People of all ages these days are being sucked into their devices and not paying attention to their surroundings. There are so many things to see in this world, Facebook can wait.
In class, we have been talking about new disorders that have come from the “Digital Age.” The one that stood out the most to me was “Nomophobia,” or “No-mobile-phone-phobia.” This is the fear of being separated from a cellular, or other device. This is becoming a serious problem, especially in younger people. Many people are becoming too dependent on their mobile devices and freak out when they are separated from them, sometimes to the point of anxiety and depression. Many studies have found many people, especially college age, have increased levels of anxiety when they become separated from their phones, even for a few minutes. Phones are expensive and usually hold a lot if personal information, but of you freak out because you misplace it at home, that is a true sign of the separation anxiety.
To go with the fact that people are becoming obsessed with their phones, today’s younger generation is having trouble with figuring out the time and place to use their devices. It really bothers me when kids have their phones out when a teacher is talking. The phone usually ends up getting taken away and then the student protests giving it up. This and the fact they couldn’t leave the phone alone during class shows the addiction and the lack of control kids have over their devices. Technology is becoming more of master than a servant.
Now personally, I think people of all ages are affected by this. People constantly check their social media, send email, text, and make phone calls. Even though this disorder affects many ages, I think this is going to have the greatest impact on the younger generations. We are growing up in an age where you can just whip out your phone and get an answer to any question. The easy access to information about anything is affecting the development of problem solving skills in many young people. Why bother thinking of a solution when you can just ask Siri?
That being said, I have no problem with using technology, as long as it is used in moderation and for useful purposes. We use GPS system in our tractors to help track crop production. We even have systems to help manage our animal herds. But if you feel the need to use technology is a harmful way, such as to bully others on social media, then we are going to have some issues.
I think many kids who grow up on a farm have a better chance of not being affected by this disorder. As a farm kid, you are expected to go outside and work. Whether it be driving tractors, caring for animals, or cleaning barns, you are expected to be focused on the task at hand and not even worrying about your phone. Yes, I usually have my phone with me just in case something bad happens, but it’s to risky to be checking Facebook or responding to an email when working with animals or driving large machines. This is good example of knowing the right time and place to use your devices.
People need to get off their phones and pay attention to what is in front of them. Life is too short to stare at a screen all the time. Take time to watch a real sunset, go for walk, breathe in the sweet smell of a fresh summer rain, and spend time with your family and friends. Your social media will always be there, the opportunities to experience the great things in life could be gone in a heartbeat. Choose wisely.