I have heard smartphones referred to as “rudephones.” They certainly have coarsened behavior in the non-virtual world. Who hasn’t been stuck in a line behind someone telling the cashier to “wait a moment?” while they finish messaging or talking? Or been cutoff by a minivan or truck driving who seems to be texting while driving?
I know of a preschool that sent a note to parents saying that “The high point of your child’s day is when you pick them up after school. Please do not be staring at a screen or talking when they first see you. We will not release children to a parent who is using their phone.”
On the sidelines of children’s soccer games, in the pews at church, in the booths of nice restaurants, and in the front row of classrooms people are “descreetly” messaging on Face book or texting. (Why are they staring at their laps?) And of course what is a nice meal out without someone allowing the children at the next table to game or play YouTube videos – with the sound on.
My favorites of all are the smartphone users in movie theaters! They may want to multitask during the movie, but why do they assume we do also?
What is your favorite rude smartphone use example?
STUPID – Paying $500 to acquire a learning disability
This past Saturday I braked for a biker who veered into my lane: he was messaging while pedaling his bike on Main Street Blacksburg! Driving while messaging or texting is a great STUPID example but I argue that the effect of smartphones on intelligence is more pernicious.
Current research on learning indicates that attention is the most important factor in learning and multitasking of any sort kills attention and learning. In the book, The Shallows, studies are cited showing that hyperlinks to citations in the text of a paper impair learning. Imagine having Facebook and YouTube in your control bar while you are trying to take lecture notes!
For students and anyone interested in learning, buying a smartphone may essentially amount to paying $500 to acquire a learning disability. The students eerily smiling while look down at their lap and the seminar attendees glancing at their cell phones will less and more slowly. But they will know what their friends are up to.
As rampant multitasking causes us to learn less will smarter smartphones come to our aid?
(Cycle of dependency?)