Do phones take up too much of our lives?

evade

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Obviously speaking from a personal experience, I was curious if phones are taking too much of your lives and those around you?

I honestly wish we could go back to the days where we could just use the Motorola Razr and not have all these expectations to always be connected. Any thoughts?
 

jaxadam

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We had some people over yesterday and I was pretty impressed that no one touched their phone. Like not at all. Well, it didn't help that one of the guys jumped in the pool with his phone, car keys, and wallet in his pocket and it fried it. So don't believe all of this waterproof bullshit... His phone was in there for maybe 10 seconds max and it's toast.
 

neurosis

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They definitely take too much time. I cut off over the weekend. The thing goes in the nightstand or a pocket and all alerts and notifications are shut off. But during the week it’s a constant flow of work email, chat, calls, text and add to that the YouTube, podcasts, iTunes, camera… I don’t know how much data I’m feeding this thing. Between information points for my consumer profile and entertainment… wherever it goes it’s sure making an accurate picture of something. Plus the phone is full of photos and other nonsense like notes and bookmarks I will never ever go back to.
 

zappatton2

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I almost never carry a phone with me, and due to my general technological incompetence, find modern Iphones to be an ordeal to navigate. That said, my laptop is set up right beside me in the living room, my wife likes to watch TV for hours on end, and I find I spend way too much time using this thing to distract me.

Sometimes I'll even be watching something I like, and miss key parts because I got distracted by this infernal machine. Considering I cycle only between 5 or 6 websites, I can't say I'm living my best life right now, lol.
 

Steinmetzify

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For sure. My wife and daughter spend hours on IG (tho not to the detriment of their lives, they have jobs and friends) and daughter’s BF does the same thing.

Could say the same about me, but 99% is either forums or reading books on Kindle; I avoid social media at pretty much all costs.

I also have a do not disturb feature enabled from 7pm to 9am and nothing gets thru that but wife/kid and they’re respectful of it.

I have a friend that I visit regularly during work as an OTR truck driver. He’ll pick me up and we’ll go do one of two things, either grab some booze and go back to his house and jam or hit one of the many breweries in St Paul. It’s straight amazing to me how many people in these bars just go there to drink and look at their phones.
 

mmr007

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I don't have or use social media. I use my phone for Reverb when I'm not near my computer and finding Taco Bell when I'm some place new
 

High Plains Drifter

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All I use my phone for is texting and calls but I admit that I'm online a lot at home throughout the day and night.

I'd have to lean pretty hard towards "yes we're on our phones too much". And I'd certainly argue that people's obsession with social media and tech can't be too mentally healthy nor productive but this was all bound to happen as tech companies really pushed us to become so dependent upon their services.

My phone was fine for me a few months ago then just stopped working. They told me that it was no longer supported and that I'd have to buy a new one. So I did and instantly Google wanted to take over my entire life. So in that regard I feel like we're pretty helpless to do anything to save ourselves. I mean, I have to have a way to communicate... just sucks how many hoops the provider and browser insist that I jump through to simply maintain a phone or internet account. And overall how you basically can't so shit without some account, password, e-confirmation, app, etc, etc. That to me is the sad part but I guess that as obsessed with convenience as we are... we never stood a chance.

I have to say that I genuinely appreciate the opportunities throughout the day that allow me to engage in discussions or even brief interactions with people. And I feel like many others do to which is cool. For the most part those interactions are with older people that likely feel similar to me on this subject but regardless, I really appreciate and enjoy the times that I'm able to talk face to face with people.

Gotta say that one thing that still to this day infuriates me and amazes me is the lack of discretion of people to drive and text at the same time. Scares the ever livin fuck outta me when I'm at the stoplight and some moron comes hauling ass up behind me barely looking up long enough to see how much distance they have before coming to a stop. Like shit... Please just stay focused on the task at hand long enough to not endanger me lol.
 

TedEH

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Maybe this is my inner old-man speaking, but I think blaming our lack of attention or free time on phones is missing the point. It's just a thing, and you have control of that thing. If it wasn't a phone, it would be the TV or the news or a video game or whatever other vice or thing you'd rather be paying attention to than what you should be doing.
 

wheresthefbomb

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Forums are a type of social media. They just pre-date the term.

For sure. The big difference to me is that forums aren't, for the most part, gameified and running an algorithm to keep you hooked. SS.org is way less destructive in light of my addictive habits than say FB or IG, and a lot easier for me to walk away from. Quitting FB was as serious a choice for my mental health as quitting alcohol.

Maybe this is my inner old-man speaking, but I think blaming our lack of attention or free time on phones is missing the point. It's just a thing, and you have control of that thing. If it wasn't a phone, it would be the TV or the news or a video game or whatever other vice or thing you'd rather be paying attention to than what you should be doing.

I agree, except that those other things are generally not exposing us to incredibly complex algorithms that are literally modifying our behavior. It's a gradient, these other things do it too, but it's generally on a much slower and less surgical basis. I am familiar enough with my addictive tendencies to recognize a dopamine slot machine when I see one.

Point being, "control" becomes a shaky concept when behavior modification is in play. Social media addiction is starting to be recognized as a very serious public health issue. I know it took me more than a couple tries to quit FB for real. It was actually harder than quitting cigarettes.
 

TedEH

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except that those other things are generally not exposing us to incredibly complex algorithms that are literally modifying our behavior
Since I'm Mr-Video-Games-All-The-Time, I inevitably have the example of how game companies put a ton of effort into gaming your reward-seeking tendencies to hook you into things, and try to balance it against how not to incite too much backlash.
 


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