A few words from a lone smartphone
My master is acting strangely these days. He doesn’t want to part with me for a moment. He keeps me close all the time, except for when he is sleeping. I am always with him when he is with friends and even when he is in a meeting. He bugs me constantly, touching my screen, pushing my buttons and turning me around.
It wasn’t like that in the beginning. When we first got together, he would just talk to other people or exchange text messages with them. So I would get bored from time to time. But he began to harass me, and these days he doesn’t let me rest for a moment. He uses me to search for things, send and receive text messages and e-mail, exchange photos and videos with friends, listen to music, and watch movies.
When I’m not around, even for a moment, he gets frustrated and restless. He keeps checking on me. When he doesn’t have a specific task, he just tries various functions. I heard that this kind of behavior is classified as a fear of missing out.
I always thought that my master was a good reader, but now that I think of it, he doesn’t read much. He always used to have something to read when he rode the bus or subway, but lately, he just makes sure he has me. Of course, he bothers me throughout the ride. I am worried that he will get a reputation as a shallow person.
Also, he is not willing to memorize anything. He even gets confused about his own phone number. He should be wary of “digital dementia.” He used to memorize the phone numbers of his friends and the names of Nobel laureates. But now, he is not interested in memorizing. When he needs information, he uses me to look it up. He thinks that his brain is the CPU and I am the external memory. Yet he doesn’t realize that without the memory, a CPU is a weapon without ammunition.
But my master is not the only one who does this. The Korea Communications Commission surveyed 4,000 smartphone users, and 67.4 percent said that they check their phones frequently without a specific purpose, while 56.8 percent said that they use the Internet on their smartphones when they are with friends and family. On average, smartphone users spend 87 minutes a day on their phones. It looks like we are now living in the era of network addiction.
I am grateful that I am so favored, but I don’t want my master to become an idiot. I don’t like it when he’s anxious. I’d like him to let me rest from time to time, maybe turn me off once a week. After all, anything in excess is not good.
The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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