Did you watch the latest Apple’s commercial – “Misunderstood”? A teenage boy went with his family to the grandparents’ house for Christmas. Then all the family gathering activities – skating, building snowmen, decorating Christmas tree, making dinner. But the boy seemed focused on his iphone all the time. And it’s a “misunderstanding”. He hasn’t been disengaged and he’s been carefully filming and editing the sweetest moments into a home movie. On Christmas Day, he played the video he’s been shooting – “Harris Family Holiday”.
Some people found the commercial charming and beautiful. Some criticized life is more than just a video. When I first watched the commercial, I felt it’s sweet and heart-warming. But I just wonder why the boy needed to isolate himself from others and turned himself into a sideline cameraman. He could simply tell his family that he’s shooting a family video.
Nowadays everyone is whispering into their smartphones, oblivious of their actual surroundings. We’ve all become characters in a virtual reality that has displaced our actual lives.
Now when you walk into a restaurant, you might see a handsome couple on a date sitting inches apart and completely ignoring one another, each tapping on a smartphone in total silence. They are properly texting, “I can’t believe how boring my date is.”
A woman checking Facebook on her smartphone plunged off a pier in Melbourne. Another woman fell into Lake Michigan while texting. A Texas man drove off a bridge and nearly died shortly after sending a text saying, “I need to quit texting.” A recent research found that people treated in emergency rooms for cell phone-related injuries were tripled from previous years.
Our smartphones – these magical devices of connectedness, are actually turning us into disconnected loners apart from the reality.
Technology can be used to improve the quality of our life, but we should control technology, not the other way round. Your loved ones are just next to you, talk to them face to face and give them a hug. Don’t ignore them and instead watching a video, texting or playing Candy Crush Saga on your smartphone. Life is not about the end result, it’s about the journey.