We have phones – We have all?

Have you ever imagined a day that you can live normally without hearing the “ding” of notifications or the “whoosh” of new texts; checking and touching your smartphone? How hard could it be? For me, those 24 hours would be definitely horrible.

Click to see how the World Without Mobile look like

As Canton (2011) revealed, people usually find their phones over 30 times per day and take breaks between checks just around 15 minutes. Moreover, 73% of mobile phone users would be afraid of losing their phones, while 15% would feel disappointed (The Huffington Post).

According to MMA (2013), there are over 15 millions smartphone users in Vietnam that year. With smartphones, people prefer to use ‘smart’ functions than traditional ones like calling or texting.  So am I. Everyday, I am waken up by a noisy sound of alarm clock on my phone, then open my eyes just in order to “tap to snooze”. Honestly, I don’t know since when it has become my ‘professional awakener’ by providing me games to play and social networks to check new feeds. This activity takes me about 10 minutes. Up to now, I still can’t find any better way to get out of sleep.

A habit with smartphone possibly occurs with other people’ lives also. For example, last night, when I walked through high streets in District 1, instead of taking photos or chatting as often, I decided to observe others to see how they utilize phones. I thought it would be helpful to the topic I’ve chosen for my blog assignment. A group of young adults was stopping on the way to snap a ‘selfie’ by a ‘selfie stick’-an innovative tool to fit more people into one photo frame by holding the phone father away from their bodies. A pretty woman passed me quickly while making up in front of the phone camera.  A businessman was sitting in a coffee shop and seriously reading something on his smartphone. Two kids were scrambling for their mom’s phone to play Zombie Plants game. Thanks for that experience, I had a chance to approach slices of life closer and slower; and to see how important technologies be in our life.

Besides the convenience smartphones bring us, have you ever wondered that whether they annoy us? Do you feel happy with your relationship with it? Do you see it as a healthy tool? I’ve seen that my best friend made drama out of slow phone recharging many times, she even didn’t want to go out without her fully-charged-battery phone. A young couple quarreled just because the boy forgot to take the food dish photo to publish on Instagram page. Back to assignment field, I feel difficult to write away a 300 word essay to get it finished without checking notifications on my phones. This blog is, too.

Picture 1. Mobile Phone Revolution

In Kraus’s article “We’re creating a culture of distraction” (2012), he states that we are constructing and developing a distraction culture that we are stand far away from real life and unable to improve critical thinking skills and creativity by over-consuming mobile phones.

Through those real things happened around me, I somehow admit the hypothesis that the more time we consume technology, the more its dependency and distraction we have. As the result, smartphone is becoming a central part of our lives. However, our relationships with others today are threatened. We meet, but not talk to each other as much as we used to. We don’t face-to-face communicate and physically interact together, we ‘face-to-screen’ and live in cyberspace. How can be closer relationships developed?


Canton, N. 2011, ‘Cell phone culture: How cultural differences affect mobile use’, CNN, 28 September, viewed 17 July, 2014, <http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/27/tech/mobile-culture-usage/>

Kraus, J. 2012, ‘We’re creating a culture of distraction’, JoeKraus.com, 25 May, viewed 17 July, 2014, <http://joekraus.com/were-creating-a-culture-of-distraction>

Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) 2013, ‘Mobile Internet Consumer – Vietnam’, Slideshare, 19 November, viewed 17 July, 2014, <http://www.slideshare.net/vservmobi/mobile-internetconsumervietnam>

The Huffington Post 2014, ‘HUFFPOLLSTER: Fewer Than Ever Americans Still Use Landline Phones’, The Huffington Post, 8 July, viewed 17 July, 2014, <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/08/wireless-households_n_5568585.html>


8 thoughts on “We have phones – We have all?

  1. People may be addicted to their phones nowadays or use them too much. But I’m not sure relationships are at stake. Smart phones have dating apps and chat apps that people use all the time now because they are free. It’s also easier to stay in contact with someone and even decide to meet up with other people more regularly because everyone always has access to a phone. Meet ups can be organised at short notice and a change of plans to a social occasion isn’t a disaster; everyone just receives an instant message via a messaging app to meet up somewhere else. I think this improves relationships; people meet up more often, more easily and can even meet up with people they don’t know if they want to have a chat. It’s a whole other story as to whether people actually explore their relationships fully if after they meet up with someone in person, they just jump back onto their smart phone. Nice article 🙂


  2. I believe that the intimacy in relationships between people is based on verbal communication and physical contact. With smartphones and text messaging, social media, etc., people are creating voids where each of them are the center. I strongly agree that we should fix this problem as soon as possible or else it will affect the society in many ways since most of our lives is fueled by the relationships, connections and networking.


  3. You should read this article on Wall Street Journal too: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390444549204578022641193306214
    In fact, there are not many people can live without a phone this day and it is sure become a huge distraction that affect our daily life. But one thing for sure, we all still need to interact with each other or else, it is better to live in fantasy or imaginary world…. My point is that people should be more aware of the benefits that cellphone bring to us and know why do they need cellphone for. If you do not understand yourself, then do not blame! Trying to fix your bad habits and engage more in a conversation and last but not least, know when to use your cellphone! Also, there is steps on how to survive without a phone on wikihow.com, you should check that out!


  4. One reason that makes people be addicted in Smartphone is the available of Web2.0 and social media. You receive many advantages by Smartphone than you think. Let’s imagine that you live one day without phone. No one can contact you. No updated information. If you are professional communicator, you loose your job. Sometimes, you can loose your friends. Why? This is because there are too much people use social media through Smartphone. If you do not use it, you are considered to disappear; and no one care about it. Consequently, only you cannot fight the mass.

    I agree with you that the development of technology makes our close relationship be cold. Nowadays, people talk to people through phone, even they are dating. That is the power of Internet and phone. You cannot deny it. To avoid the disturbance from the phone during working or sleeping time, you should turn off your phone for a while; or make it silence. There are many way to prevent the disadvantage of phone without breaking your work. Good luck with your phone!


  5. Your blog engages me a lot as it talks about the problem that we are, as young people encountering nowadays. I agree with Kraus’s point that we are forming a cultural of distraction when people can’t help taking their eyes off the phone or electronic devices. Everyday in the morning, I open my phone, scroll down Facebook and Instagram regardless there is nothing to check, and this continues to repeat even when I am in the lecture, at coffee shop with friends and so on. Apparently,I spend more time checking phone than doing meaningful things and I hate to commit that although I know it’s wrong but it is hard to resist. I guess we are entering the age when people become technology’s slave, as Kraus’s argument, what people are losing is ourselves and our relationship, particularly our humanity.


  6. I personally talk to a lot of people only through the text messages, to the level I would consider this as my main way to communicate. It’d be easier for me to mine information from someone with text than I would do face to face situation. I would say for communication on both international and local level, text messages (including Tweets and Facebook comments) is the only way to go these days – but as the first step for face to face interaction. That’s why smartphone, with is convenient enough for every digital needs (for most people, Facebook, an blogging site and Google is enough for Internet needs, otherwise they would use smart phone for gaming) is currently triumph in the digital world, and somehow the real world. People can’t seem just connect using face to face, phone calls and other form of traditional media anymore, Facebook exchange is often a regular part of life. Who actually write a postal mail these days?

    There are always exception though. There are people who would get tired of social platform and shifting to newer one, or stick to their preferences. But as this trend continue, I guess even people in lower economy group will have to consider smart phone as a necessity for their needs. As for the deeper connection between human beings, I’d say video call would be the solution.


  7. I agree that since the born of smartphone generations was made, our lives have become so much easier with their help of daily updates for social relationships and daily activities as you mentioned as well. If we use the smartphone apps wisely, I believe we can have our own cyber assistants who automatically remind us of small little thing in daily routines to complete for a day.
    However, one thing I do hate about smartphone is that they make me feel like I’m too dependent on them sometimes that as if I switch them off for a day, I cannot imagine how much I would have missed from keeping up with what is happening around. This, I think, is not good as smartphones were created in order to make our life easier within our control, not to make us become too dependent on them that hinder us from actively control and decide ourselves on what to and what not to do for effectiveness in both personal and working life.


  8. I really like the video at the beginning of your post. It’s not only about a funny and creative concept but also visualizes a non-mobile world and shows us how hard this life would be without smart phones. I agree that this is one of the most wonderful inovation which brings many conveniences to our lives. And since human beings have got used to it for many decades, it’s difficult for us to facilitate some daily routines without the support from this device.

    I also believe that everything has two sides. Mobile phone does have some disadvantages and what you present in your post about distraction should be one of them. However, you might just talk about it on the surface. In other words, it’s quite vague and general and I expect more discussions, such as could be about lack of face-to-face communications. Moreover, the tittle “we have phones – we have all?” suggests something we may loose or we can’t have when overuse mobile phones but in general your post is not really about this.


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