Talk a walk in the city, and you’ll notice everyone looking down with their back hunched over and their necks aching. No, they’re not looking for lost gold; they’re looking at their phones. Everyone is attached to their phone whether they’re walking down the street, in the car or sitting at home.
It’s a serious problem.
And it’s time that you put down your phone before it starts impacting your life. Four years ago, Israel topped the world in smartphone usage. The trend has become even worse since 2013. The smartphone market’s penetration is increasing, causing problems along the way.
Distracted driving is a major concern. Studies show that people are talking and texting at a rate of 9% of their drive. It takes just a brief second to get into an accident. Looking down at the phone to send a text while in motion is asking for an accident to occur.
If you get into a heated argument, you may have difficulty paying attention to the road and get into an accident, too.
Even if you’re not texting or talking and driving, there is also a concern for pedestrians. The BBC announced that there were 6,000 pedestrian deaths in the United States in 2016. The report suggests that smartphone usage may lead to pedestrian and driver distraction, which is leading to pedestrian injuries.
If accidents and potential death aren’t enough for people to detach from their phone, there are other interesting consequences to consider, too.
Socialization just isn’t the same as it once was. I was spending time with a relative this weekend, she is just 12, and I can’t tell you how many times she missed what I was saying. The problem is that she’s too busy looking at her phone to realize the world around her.
Social skills, while she has them and is very personable, are impacted because people are staring at their screens rather than in a person’s eyes during a conversation.
It may seem social to talk on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, but when you never look up, you’re missing connecting with the real people around you. It’s hard enough to form lasting relationships without the distraction of smartphones, and it’s even harder when a person is too busy looking down at their phone to connect with people in real life.
Phones add to the problem of multitasking. Only 2% of people can multitask without impacting their performance. If you’re not in this 2%, your productivity is suffering. When you let your smartphone go into your pocket and not consume your day, you’ll:
- Engage in meaningful conversation
- Become more engaged at work
- Make fewer errors
- Free yourself from distractions
Smartphones definitely are handy for checking email or corresponding with team members across the world, but when you’re checking your messages every two minutes, it’s going to impact your performance.
It’s an epidemic that is hitting people across the world.
The only way to free yourself from the grasp of anti-socialism, distraction and loss of production is to put your phone down and start appreciating the world around you.