The Upsides And Downsides Of Being Too Attached To Our Gadgets

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UPSIDE: KEEPING MEMORIES. Whether it’s a wedding, your kid’s birthday party or your cat giving birth to a litter of 8, you can always count on your phone to help preserve those memories with a picture or a video. Upload it online, and you’ve practically immortalized the existence of those pictures and videos. And it’s not just limited to that, you can even save entire conversations, all for the purpose of reliving the moments you talked to someone you like.

DOWNSIDE: NO ACTUAL MEMORIES. The problem with being the one to preserve those memories is that you might end up being too busy to bask in the moment, simply because you’re tinkering with your phone’s settings just to get the perfect angle or the perfect shot. Chances are, you might not even be in any of the photos. You might even turn into one of those annoying people at concerts who wave their iPads in the air! Sure, you were able to preserve a memory, but were you really there in that moment?

UPSIDE: You become dependable. When people know you’re attached to your gadget, it’s safe for them to assume that you know its ins and outs. They know that you can conjure up movie schedules, restaurant reviews, directions and even instructional articles with lightning speed. They might even ask you to be the one to help figure out certain settings on their phones, if you happen to have a similar model. You’re like their walking Google and tech person all in one!

DOWNSIDE: You become dependent. Sometimes, you get so used to having information at the tip of your fingers that when your gadget or your internet connection is unavailable, you have no idea what to do. You’ll then realize that back in the olden days, people went to libraries to do research. They went to the actual cinemas to get movie schedules. They unfolded gigantic maps to get from point A to point B.

UPSIDE: Dating becomes easier. Online dating no longer has the stigma that it used to ten years ago. With apps like Tinder, Badoo, and what have you, you can get to know more people and ask them out on a date, without even having to leave your home. This is especially good news for shy people, as sending a flirty message is easier than actually coming up to someone and trying to flirt!

DOWNSIDE: Dating becomes too easy. As with all easy things, the convenience of online dating can sometimes be taken for granted. When you meet someone you like organically, you thank your lucky stars and try your best to make things work out. But with the ease of online dating, you can be really picky or fickle, because you know that you have a ton of other options.

UPSIDE: Quantity of interactions. You can be leaving a comment for your friend on Instagram, chatting with your mom on Facebook, Skype calling with your partner, and composing an email for your boss, all at the same time. You can talk to a multitude of people across a variety of platforms whenever you want to.

DOWNSIDE: Quality of interactions. When our attention span is split across several different conversations through different mediums, are we really spending quality time with these people? At best, we’d be leaving quick, mechanical replies, all for the purpose of assuring them that yes, we’re online. Yes, we’re “paying attention.” And yes, we’re investing our time and attention on fully absorbing what they have to say to us. But who are we kidding?

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