SMARTPHONES HAVE HIJACKED OUR MINDS (PART 2)
By John Oyadougha
We start today with a question; Although, the door of the elevator closes automatically but why do most people still prefer to push the close button? Last week we introduced us to the theme which is to expose us to how tech guys built their products to get us addicted of glued on to them and gave an exposition on two features built into tech products to get us glued on to the use of the product. Other of such features include:
Smileys and Emojis: Emojis are one of the newest innovations in mobile technology and helps the user to use less words to express feelings and ideas. To show how important emojis are, a movie has been made of it featured at the cinema sometime in September. I even belong to a WhatsApp group called Smileys and Articles Only. Text is not allowed on this group, you should learn to use Smileys to express whatever feeling or idea you got and I was shocked to discover how creative some people and how quickly they have learnt to interpret the multitude of smileys available for use. WhatsApp recently has made its smileys so real looking like real humans and this only get the users excited and spend more time online. It is my prediction that ten years to come, people will be able to take a selfie and WhatsApp will be able to convert that selfie to an emoji of the user’s choice. It is no crime but a marketing strategy to creating user addictive products.
Filters: Social media users no longer worry about how beautiful their pictures are. Any picture on black and white edit filter for instance is appealing to the eyes. Tech guys created this feature in order for us to snap more pictures, upload more pictures and tag more people and places. Facebook for instance target ads to you based on the places you frequent. Many Filters so appeal to our emotions that many young people especially girls no longer use their phone’s default camera, they prefer to use snapchat instead.
We can keep on and on to name these very innovative and addictive features because they are many. It may be Youtube and Netflix auto play feature that kills our power to decide whether we want to watch the next episode of a movie/video or not.
These tech guys like I have mentioned earlier have taken to measures to reduce the negative impact of smartphones on themselves and their families, some have blocked access to certain websites on their laptops, other have told their secretary to activate parental control on their phone to prevent them from visiting some sites or downloading some movies while others use only the house internet on their phone and set when to on and off the internet and this controls when they go online or use their smartphones and most importantly, most of them enroll their kids in ivy league high schools where there is controlled access to the internet. All these they do as they tend to follow the number one rule in dealing with crack cocaine “Never get high on your own supply”.
But then do we blame the baker for baking his cake so delicious that people tend to eat so much of it and increase their sugar level, no we can’t and that’s why we can’t also blame the tech guys for building their products so fantastic that we can’t afford to stay off them. Tech addiction is no better than cocaine addiction, they are one and the same as they both affect the neurological pathway that causes addiction in humans. People take cocaine or heroin or other illicit drugs because they provide them the satisfaction they desire just like the way tech products give the user the satisfaction he desires. Tech addiction or social media addiction can be particularly good if your business is online and that’s where you legitly earn your income.
Training yourself to determine when to use your mobile devise, when to go online becomes the most effective solution. It all comes down to self-determination. When next you go online, have a purpose and kindly go offline the moment that purpose is met and you and will discover how much time you will save to carry out tasks that matter and impact your life positively.