Has the use of smart devices negatively impacted some of our customs and traditions, and the way we engage with our close relatives? This concern is the subject of ongoing studies focusing on communications, people, smart devices and the social attitude of users.
A study conducted several months ago in one of the GCC states on the behaviour of people and mobile phones indicated that 90 per cent of those surveyed use their mobile phones to pretend they are busy, especially when they are not inclined to talk to people around them or avoid engaging in a conversation.
This is observed in some public or private places, like restaurants, airports, and so on, where people browse their mobile phones to stay busy until they are joined by family or friends. Mobile phones are also used as a “distraction” tool to avoid talking to others, which wasn’t the case before their invention.
The study shows that 41 per cent of the respondents admitted to using mobile phones to bide their time, while 34 per cent use them as a distraction to avoid engaging in conversations with others.
The study also included other aspects of social life and mobile phones, noting that people today avoid making direct conversations with others.
Instead, they prefer to communicate through electronic messaging to request some services, like booking flights, making restaurant reservations, calling a ride or taxi, ordering meals, and so on. This type of communication occurs between people without them knowing each other.
It is true that smart apps have made life easier in these matters, but they also distance people from those around them. This is why some people suffer from anxiety and boredom when their computers are down or if Internet connections are slow or unavailable and therefore no smooth flow of information is established.
This kind of anxiety also hits people travelling from countries that enjoy strong communication networks to those who have bad Internet connection, making them restless as they wait for long periods to receive a reply.
The study indicates that staying connected with your contacts makes life much easier, which is why many of us tend to research in advance the ability, strength and mode of operation of our mobile phones in other countries, and make sure such phones and electronic programs and applications are available for use and download in those countries.
Modern telecommunication devices are set for mind-blowing advances. Innovations in this field are nonstop, thanks to the creative minds who work tirelessly to make new technological achievements, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
However, every new innovation in the world of telecommunications has its ups and downs, which can enhance the exchange of life experiences in various disciplines, allowing everybody to take part in the creative process and boost their intellectual, cultural and social habits, besides providing them with more awareness on human and medical issues, different skillsets, and so on.
Nonetheless, others will feel isolated from society at the expense of others. Other disadvantages of mobile phones include the promotion and exchange of morally corrupt material, sharing criminal plans and schemes and spreading nasty rumours, lies and slander about reputation of others. This requires intensified self-censorship in societies, whether by family members or through educational institutions, religious centres, mosques, and so on.
Avoiding direct contact with others, even in the same household, is wide spreading. Each member of the same family is busy on their mobile phones and apps, not talking to each other, which is a negative impact of these ever advancing devices.
Children are not communicating with their parents like they used to, but all their needs and requests are sent online.
It is as if people have become decorating objects in their own homes. What is disconcerting today is that the future will hold worse, leaving negative impacts on members of the same family and society, which requires increased and continuous awareness on this matter.