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Insurance Article

Are smartphones really "connecting people"?

May 26 2015

Not if your mobile reduces intimacy within your family - Thomas Watson

At our command is a sea of videos, pictures, movies and news, ready to entertain and enthrall us. But if we stop and think for a moment, how has it affected our personal lives?

Before you start getting defensive how smartphones are so cool, find out if your relationship with your smartphone beats your real-life relationships:

Family or virtual family?

1. After a long day, you relax by playing games on your smartphone
2. You use your smartphone for all your conversations with family and friends
3. You wake up and go to sleep with your smartphone
4. You check your social media notifications as soon as they arrive
5. You visit social media sites regularly (daily 10-20 times)
6. At dinner or at work, you cannot help check your newsfeed and/or messenger

If you nodded vigorously to most of the statements, you are letting your smartphone affect your human interactions.

Did you know?

A recent research article published by the International Research Journal of Social Sciences revealed that 82% smartphone users in India use it for Internet browsing.

We can say that slowly but surely, smartphones are taking over a huge chunk of our life, not unlike the movie "Her". Our obsession with the latest smartphone, leaves us with very little time and energy for our loved ones. Can we resist the urge to check our phone every few minutes? Do our conversations really have our complete attention?

If the smartphones have brought world-wide connectivity, they have also brought a distance within relationships. There is certain restlessness, especially among the younger users, when not using their smartphones. It is as if we have forgotten to function without the smartphone in tow.

Some of the behavioral trends emerging among smartphone users are shocking to say the least:

1. Attention Please

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No attention to real friends

With a constantly updating world wide web at our fingertips, who has the time to listen how the spouse's day was? Or maybe what the children learnt at school today? We are too engrossed in the daily badgering of news, pictures and messages to actually pay attention to the people physically present in the same room.

2. Attention Please

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Multi-tasking with smartphones

Social media has spread to all corners of the world and we seek validation of our life from others on the social media. The emergence of smartphones has only fed this fire and made access to every notification so much simpler.

Virtual friends have gained importance over neighbors and real friends, influencing even lifestyle changes. At the risk of their privacy, users post own pictures to get attention and validation from virtual friends. ‘Webtrovert' is the thing!

3. Game(s) on!

Smartphones today have an array of features to attract the buyers, and games are at the top of the list. Gaming has become a religion. They are interesting, easy, and provide the user with an alternative to spend their time.

The high scores, comparative scores and different levels in the game spurn the user to spend more and more time playing. If you are not on the leader-board, you are not alive!

4. An App For Everything

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Too much sharing

There are smartphone apps for everything. We use an app for all our daily tasks - big or small. We are slowly depending on them for waking us up, for reminding us of birthdays, for taking notes and even for navigation. We even talk to each other only via apps.

Even though they have made life a little more convenient, apps leave us clueless when we do not have the smartphone. We have forgotten that we have been doing all these things and more without these apps for centuries.

Even though smartphones give us a freedom to connect freely with our loved ones, it is also taking away a key ingredient to nurture our relationships: time. It is about time we make the most of it with the ones we care about. For all the things a smartphone can do, it just cannot turn back the time.

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