Why’re People Addicted to Smartphones? A Philosophical Stance

People are addicted to smartphones and the market is booming.

The data shows around 1.39 billion smartphones were sold worldwide in 2022. Smartphone companies have become million-trillion economies outnumbering economies of many 3rd world countries. 

From companies point of view, it’s a good thing. They want one person to have as many phones as possible.

Nevertheless, it’s not bad for people, too. 

In today’s time, the smartphone has become a necessity for people’s daily lives.

In addition to calling, it helps people to make a digital payment, share files among friends or colleagues, order food, pay their taxes, maintain their fitness report and whatnot. 

Yes, there’s a caveat, which is inevitable. Everything has two sides. 

However, our point is not to discuss the good and the bad; rather, our point of focus is the fact of why people are addicted to smartphones. So they can avoid the bad side of the booming smartphone economy.

Now some people would say that social media is the reason people are addicted to their phones. 

But social media isn’t the only reason. There’s more to it because babies are also addicted to smartphones, and I hardly doubt they use social media. 

So, what is it? 

Well, it’s nothing out of the world. Instead, it’s something that people get played out by in their everyday lives.

Why Are People Addicted to Smartphones?

People have cars; people have homes and people even have clothes.

But what makes a smartphone that much important is that people can’t live without it. At the same time, they’re ready to live without three necessities to survive as humans–food, clothes and home.

Why do smartphones have so much value other than all the things in life?

It’s not an assumption; it’s a fact-based point. Study shows that every 15 minutes, people with smartphones check notifications. 

There must be something important; that’s why they do it, right?

But no, out of habit, people stay glued to the tiny blue screen minute after minute, hour after hour, even if something important is happening in front of them–for example, checking their phone while they’re on a date.  

Addicted to smartphones because they give sense of the real world

Likewise, there are countless moments when this tiny blue screen pretends as if it’s the innate part of the human body and mind. 

To start the argument, we can say social media is the cause of people being addicted to smartphones.

However, people with no social media accounts can be found looking down while something essential is happening in their lives. 

The world they live in has no pull against the world people have created on their smartphones. The world we live in gives us the sense of sentience, and the same sense can be experienced in the smartphones we have.

It’s like there are two fronts–the real world vs the virtual world. 

But how does this virtual world have so much power that it can build a wall of ignorance before the real world that’s breathing?

To understand this, first, we need to examine why the real world makes us long for its proximity.

The Reason We Struggle Between the Real and Virtual World

In the real world, we are surrounded by people. We build and break connections. We see people grow, fail, achieve things, and lose them at a certain point in time as well. 

Through these, we experience happiness, sadness, jealousy, anger, excitement, empathy, sympathy, etc.

To sum up, from reactions to every action, we feel different emotions that allow us to experience the essence of being human. 

Our emotions are behind our survival in the real world. And that’s the only reason we are addicted to our smartphones as well. Because those tiny blue screens have become the storehouse of every emotion a human can feel.

We don’t read newspapers to update ourselves. Instead, we do it to supply the demand for the emotions we lack. 

Smartphones Can Trigger Emotions

In the same way, smartphones can fulfil our hunger for emotions, whether to feel happy, sad or envious. To access those emotions, we have social media platforms, games, news applications, streaming services, gambling platforms, shopping platforms and much more. 

The virtual world has mimicked the natural world in a very subtle way and made people addicted to smartphones.

  • By looking at a post of a beggar dying out of starvation, we can trigger emotions of anger, sadness and sympathy. 
  • Another post of Tom Cruise jumping from a cliff can trigger emotions of excitement. 
  • Then, at the same time, by looking at a different post of a bad-looking guy dating a beautiful girl, we can trigger jealousy and sadness. 

This is all just like we experience in the real world.

And that’s not limited to social media but anything smartphone tech can offer. For example, the moment you spend something, you get to see your bank balance. This can cause stress and rob you of the present moment you’re in. 

However, earlier, we only get to see our bank balance after visiting the bank. 

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What’s Tricky With the Virtual World’s Pull?

People literally can’t witness what smartphones are doing with them and how they are changing their behaviour.

And they do it because it gives you a dose of emotions the moment you want.

The rate of experiencing different human emotions is rapid.

What’s more tricky is that it doesn’t let you settle with a particular feeling–thanks to the infinite scroll.

Each second, you can experience a different emotion, whereas the real world gives you time and space to really understand your feelings or emotions. You can have a debate in your mind whether what you’re feeling is appropriate to feel or not. 

At least you give time to let the feeling sink in, if not for debate. 

The demand, the rate of fulfilment and the choice to switch between emotions have made smartphones all the more powerful and people prone towards them.

It’s not the emotions; instead, how people receive them makes everything very addictive. 

That’s why it’s getting harder for the younger generation to understand their innate human quality. That’s why it’s harder for people to accept the “waiting” phenomenon we generally experience in the real world and get impatient

And that’s why people are giving up on life because the real world has no power over the virtual world.

I hope the above points have helped you understand why we are addicted to our smartphones. If you want to break free from your smartphone addiction, head to the following article.

Breaking Free from Smartphone Addiction by Nathawat Brothers

It will give you the easiest plan to learn how you can use your smartphone effectively when necessary rather than compulsive. 

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Nathawat Brothers

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