The trouble with smartphones

Lily Rosengard 26 April 2014

I confess – I am the owner of a smartphone. Our relationship, however, is currently very much on the rocks.

Throughout the year, I try to convince myself of how wonderful my smartphone is. All that time I have saved by replying to emails, checking the news on the go, and navigating my way to a supervision at Girton using Google maps. Yes, this has all been remarkably useful and yes, this has perhaps saved me a few minutes of time throughout my day, however, when I think of what I most regularly use my phone for it is really quite depressing.

Surely the brightest technological minds have not slaved away for years to create the most high-tech of technology for the 21st Century just so that young people can mindnumbingly waste their time by scrolling through useless information or by flinging angry birds at helpless pigs?

This issue is particularly pressing as we approach that thrilling time of year: exam term. Why do I find myself lacking both the time and concentration to study for any period of time? Yet give me my phone and I am easily able to enter a senseless daze for a good couple of hours, only brought back to reality by the library closing. I actually find that it is only when my phone dies in the middle of the day that I become the most productive. Despite knowing this, I seem to lack the willpower to just put my phone in my pocket and work in the library, without taking it out every hour (okay half an hour) to check it.

In a strange way, I almost look forward to the last percentage of battery juice to fizzle out, just so that I can focus for the rest of the day. And yes, I do understand how ridiculous this sounds, however I cannot seem to change my ways.

It turns out that it is not just me that is experiencing these terrible issues. I have heard friends even considering taking the plunge back in time to buy a cheap new ‘brick’ phone just so that they can focus for this all important upcoming term. “NOOOOO!” I hear you cry. “How can I possibly live without the constant stream of mindless, pointless information from my Facebook news feed that seeps into my brain, which takes up crucial time that really should be reserved for my studies??!”. Ok, so perhaps that’s not exactly what you may exclaim, but the important fact of the matter is that perhaps it is what you should be thinking.