NOW THAT’S FUNNY
Did you know that checking your smartphone creates stress?
Of course you did, because you are constantly interrupted by the darn thing just when you’re smack in the middle of doing something else.
A recent study conducted by psychologist Richard Balding from the University of Worcester questioned 100 participants, including college students and workers from across all business sectors. The British Psychological Society has posted an article about the results, saying that though smartphones start out being helpful, they end up creating a new pressure to keep up with virtual life. The user begins to jump at the sound of the smartphone, obediently responding to every beep in order to digest the constant stream of data, tweeting, emails and status updates.
In other words, your smartphone is the boss of you.
I have seen people lurch to attention when their phone goes off, snapping to action like a dog who heard the word “treat.” They will balance their packages, steer the car with one finger, put the baby down, silence their dinner partners, even cross the street to avoid glare … ANYTHING, to better position themselves to rapidly absorb the fascinating new info that is coming through their phone, which might be something as life changing as:
- "Staff meeting tomorrow moved to 10:45."
- "Saw your mom at the mall."
- "Gerry Hines is now friends with Matty Blake and Karen Weingarten."
- "Can I stay at Aidan’s for dinner?"
- "Just heard James Taylor on the radio. What a genius."
- "Friendly reminder: your new wireless bill is ready for viewing."
The ringtones never stop. Our smartphones, who are approaching a HAL-like stature in our society, have tricked us into thinking everything is urgent so that we will rely on them all the more. Curse you, smartphones!
The study highlights the fact that the stress is mostly caused by personal use of the phones, not from work-related pressures. So, in other words, we are all pathetic, needy people who desperately need to feel popular. It’s eighth grade all over again.