We always talk about ‘the machine’ taking over as something that might happen in a distant, unlikely future in a galaxy far far away. And yet there will soon be more iPhones in the world than people. These phones track our every move, control our banking, and even talk back when we ask them a question with the addition of Siri to the iPhone 4G.
So is this the future at which we so readily scoff? I own an iPhone. It runs my life. It even wakes me up at the optimal point in my sleep cycle to leave me feeling refreshed and ready to embrace the day. But how much is too much?
Science Daily published a new study a few days ago showing that people are becoming less connected, not more, by their iPhones. Marketing professors Anastasiya Pocheptsova and Rosellina Ferraro, with graduate student, Ajay T. Abraham, showed that using mobile phones has a negative impact on ‘Prosocial Behaviour’. Prosocial Behaviour, as defined in the report, is “action intended to benefit another person or society as a whole”, and using a mobile phone for just a short time can make you less likely to connect with and help other people.
Why? Because humans have a basic need to belong and connect. Mobile phones make people feel more connected, which fulfils that need. This makes people less likely to do things such as volunteer as a way to help and connect with other people.
So the technology many of us are so desperate to possess is dampening our desire to positively interact with the people around us. Are iPhones making us worse people? Or are we just connecting with people in ways that are so new that they have yet to be quantified and studied?
What do you think? Are mobile phones taking over? Are we becoming greedy for new technology, or is this the natural progression of communication?
Want to know more? Read the news article on the recent stats showing there are more iPhones being sold every second than babies born worldwide.