I recently went on a trip to Maryland, and while I was there I stayed in three different houses in three nights, and drove over 200 miles between each location. During my trip I found my smartphone was a huge help: from checking in to my flights, to storing my boarding passes, to listening to podcasts and baseball games in the car, to giving me directions to everything, it made the whole trip less stressful and more enjoyable. In so many ways I love my smartphone and its benefits.
But I also hate it.
Why? For one, smartphones have basically tracking devices for Surveillance States. Yes, I know I sound paranoid, but we have voluntarily given governments the ability to track our every move and our every action. This seems doomed to a bad ending, no matter where you live. I know people say, “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to hide.” But I say, “The definition of ‘wrong’ keeps changing.”
Another thing I don’t like about smartphones is that they become our primary means of communications. When I was traveling, it appeared that about 90%+ of people in the airport had their heads in their phones (and I was often one of them). This is not healthy. As this video demostrates, such a dependence on our phones makes us lonely and depressed:
So I both love and hate my smartphone. I don’t really have a good answer to this problem, but for now I’m going to continue to use my smartphone while working hard to not let it control me (I don’t have a good solution to the privacy issue). Such are the challenges of modern life!