Dependence on smartphones is a real problem in our society, both among youth and adults. A quick survey of twenty people of all ages and social backgrounds revealed one inescapable fact: very few are willing to venture out of the house without their phone. The most cited reasons? Work and social networks.
Eliminate the first mentioned reason immediately, as a smartphone is now regarded as an essential business tool for many jobs, this leaves social networks. Surely you have noticed a member of your entourage at a family gathering, staring at a screen and scrolling through their Facebook feed oblivious to everyone else around them. When asked whether they spend a full day without checking their Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram, the vast majority, regardless of their age, admitted they could not. “I am able to do it,” said a young woman while looking at her Facebook.
Boredom seems to be the main reason behind this gig-addiction. “I check because I have nothing to do,” sighed Elizabeth, a student in grade 11.
When asked about the number of social networks people are subscribed to, two groups emerged: those who check one to three sites and those involved with more than five. Surprisingly, there are almost as many adults addicted to this technology, as there are young people.
This dependence may seem banal. However, it has significant consequences, both for our way of life and our environment. Who has not noticed the long lines outside of electronics stores of people waiting to get their hands on the latest smartphone? What is shocking is that for many of these techno addicts, their old device is often far from obsolete. A consequence of this hyper-consumption is that the number of phones thrown away has never been greater. As they are not recyclable, landfill sites are overflowing, and the resulting pollution endangers all of our health.
Fortunately, some companies are starting to implement recovery programs for used cell phones. This suggests a brighter future, but what is in store for future technologies? Even more diagnoses of dependency? More waste? More pollution? Only the future will tell…
Sainte-Barbe resident, student at Arthur-Pigeon High School in Huntingdon and Volunteer Correspondent for the Haut-Saint-Laurent