As smartphones are now integrated into every hour, if not minute, of many people’s daily lives, their use is becoming more and more intrusive.

Smartphones have become so addictive in the modern era that we cannot even think of how life would be without them in our hands. It is as if we are glued to this gadget. And which to a great extent is true. We literally are glued to these glowing plastic screens. Go to the gym and you will see people taking more pictures than actually exercising which is the main purpose for why they are there. Hence, it is no doubt that smartphones are deviating us to focus on the task that we are supposed to do.

Take another instance of people using smartphones inside while the movie is playing on. Why not enjoy the movie? After all it is what we at cinemas go for, instead of trying hard to record short movie clips.

Smartphones are paving their way into our daily life routine and we do not even notice it and that is because undoubtedly, these glowing screens have become an addiction. If you think about it, our attention is the only thing we truly own in our lives. Our possessions can go away. Our bodies can be compromised. Our relationships can fall apart. Even our memories and intellectual capacity fade away. But, the simple ability to choose what to focus on – that will always be ours.

Unfortunately, with today’s technology, our attention is being pulled in more directions than ever before, which makes this optioning of our own attention more difficult and more important than ever before. I believe that smartphones are causing attention pollution, in other words. Its attention pollution when somebody else’s inability to focus or control themselves then interferes with the attention and focus of those around them.

Hence, it is why we get annoyed at dinner when someone starts texting in front of us. Similarly, it is why we get irritated when someone pulls his or her phone out in a movie theatre. And, it is why we become vexed when someone is taking pictures instead of working out at the gym. Their inability to focus interferes with our already fragile ability to focus. The same way second-hand smoke harms the lungs of people around the smoker, smartphones harm the attention and focus of people around the smartphone user. This causes us to lose our train of thought and forget that important point we were constructing in our head.

No doubt smartphones help us in our daily lives and are the best source of communication. But, that should not make us neglect the negative impacts it has over individuals who over use these gadgets. The way forward I see to help reduce the use of smartphones is through a proper nurturing of children by their parents. Parents should keep an eye on their children’s use of smartphones and limit their timings. Such parental control will prove to be worthy in reducing children’s use of smartphones to only when it is necessary. Thus, eradicating unnecessary use of this gadget. In addition to this, toddlers and young kids should be discouraged for using smartphones as this is the age children really get addicted to this gadget. Harmful blue light emitting out of smartphone screen is more harmful to kid’s eyes than adults. It is high time we wake ourselves up and take remedial measure to curb this addiction for good and remove us from the frame of dependency under smartphones.

IMTIAZ ALI MIRANI,

SHIKARPUR, SINDH.