10 years after the iPhone was first launched, we’re more connected – and isolated – then ever before

10 years after the iPhone was first launched, we’re more connected – and isolated – then ever before

Around 2011 or 2012, it suddenly became very easy to predict what people would do in public places: most are looking for their phones.

For years, mobile phones do not have much to do. The screens were small and users had to repeatedly press the same key to write a single letter in a word. Then, 10 years ago – June 29, 2007 – Apple released the first iPhone.

“From time to time, a revolutionary product changes everything,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, Inc., at the iPhone’s introductory press conference. In six years, most Americans owned a smartphone – to adopt the new technology may be faster than any previous technology was adopted.

Today, smart phones seem indispensable. We connect to the Internet, provide guidance, allow us to quickly turn off the text and – as I discovered one day in the spring of 2009 – can even help find the last hotel room in Phoenix when your plane is submerged in a dust storm .

However, research has shown that this convenience could come at a cost. We seem to be addicted to telephones; As a psychology researcher, I read a study after concluding the study that our mental health and our relationship might suffer as well. Meanwhile, the first generation of children growing up with smartphones have now reached adulthood, and they are just beginning to see the effects.

Initially, sociologist Sherry Turkle has explained, smartphone users hang themselves, sharing what was happening on their phones.

“Over time, there was less of that and much more of what I call the only phenomenon,” he said in the documentary Steve Jobs 2015: Man of the Machine. Turned out to be a technology / insulation. It is a dream machine and you become fascinated by the world that can be found on these screens. ”

This is the new normality: instead of calling someone, you report. Instead meet for dinner with your friends to tell them about your recent vacation, posted on Facebook photos. It is convenient, but it cuts off some of the face-to-face interactions that, like social animals, we desire.

More and more studies suggest that electronic communication – as opposed to face-to-face interaction it can replace – has negative consequences for mental health. In one study, students were asked to report their mood five times a day. In addition to that they had used Facebook, less happy they were. However, feeling unhappy has not led to increased use of Facebook, which suggests that Facebook causes unhappiness, not the other way around.

Another study examined the impact of smartphones on relationships. People whose partners were more often distracted by their phones were less satisfied with their relationships and, perhaps as a result, were more likely to feel depressed.

However, we can not stop looking at our phones. Irresistible In his book, Marketing Professor Adam Alter makes a convincing case that social networks and electronic communication are addictive, involving the same brain pathways as drug addiction. In one study, frequent smartphone users made to put their mobile face to face on the table became more and more anxious as the time elapsed.

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