“Sorry, What Did You Say?” 15 Things We Have Lost Because of Smartphones

By Krystal Brown

In the age of smartphones, the very tools designed to enhance our lives often come with a cost. From fractured attention spans to disrupted sleep cycles, the impact on our daily experiences is profound. In this exploration, we delve into the myriad ways these devices have subtly reshaped our lives, affecting everything from face-to-face communication to our very sense of self. Join us as we reflect on the losses incurred in the wake of smartphone ubiquity.

The Ability to Be Present

Smartphones are a constant distraction, making it difficult to focus on the moment or the people around us. Smartphones allow us to do multiple things simultaneously, but multitasking is less efficient and productive than focusing on one task at a time. When we multitask, we constantly switch back and forth between tasks, making it challenging to stay focused and present.

Face-To-Face Communication

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We are communicating less and less in person and more and more through our screens. Smartphones can also interrupt face-to-face conversations. If you receive a phone call or text message while talking to someone, it is natural to want to check it. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Our Attention Spans

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Smartphones can interrupt our thoughts throughout the day. When we receive a notification or alert, we are drawn to our phones, even if we are in the middle of doing something else. This can make it difficult to stay focused and pay attention.

Our Sleep

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The blue light emitted from smartphones can interfere with our sleep cycles, making it difficult to get a good night’s rest. In addition, the addictive nature of smartphones means people often take them to bed and will scroll through social media or play games late into the night. 

Our Privacy

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Smartphones collect a lot of data about us, including our location, browsing history, and communications. This data can be used to track us and target us with advertising.

Our Creativity

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Smartphones have made it easier for us to consume information than to produce it. This can lead to a decline in our creativity and problem-solving skills. Smartphones give us access to a vast amount of information and content, which can lead to overconsumption. When we constantly consume other people’s work, it can be difficult to be original and come up with our own ideas.

Our Empathy

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Smartphones allow us to connect with people all over the world, but this can lead to a false sense of connection. We may feel connected to people online, but we may neglect our relationships with the people in our immediate lives.

Our Sense of Direction

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Smartphones allow us to use GPS to navigate anywhere, making us less likely to pay attention to our surroundings and develop our own sense of direction. When we rely too heavily on GPS, we may not learn how to read maps or use landmarks to find our way around.

Our Social Skills

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Smartphones can make learning and practicing social skills difficult, such as making eye contact, having conversations, and reading social cues. Face-to-face communication is important for developing social skills because it allows us to see and hear the other person’s reactions, which can help us to understand their feelings and to respond in a socially appropriate way.

Our Ability to Relax

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Smartphones are a constant source of stimulation, making it difficult to relax and unwind. Smartphones give us access to vast information, which can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know what information is important and what information is not.

Our Ability to Focus

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Smartphones are a constant distraction, making it difficult to focus on tasks that require sustained concentration. Smartphones are a constant distraction, making it difficult to focus on the people we are with. When we constantly check our phones, we send the message that the people we are with are not as crucial as our phones.

Our Sense of Community

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Smartphones can make us feel more connected to people worldwide, but they can also make us feel less connected to the people in our immediate community. When we are more involved in keeping the people in our online communities happy, we ignore the potential social lives we can lead face to face.

Our Ability to Connect With Nature

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Smartphones can also create a sense of FOMO or fear of missing out. When our friends and family are having fun without us, it can be tempting to check our phones constantly to ensure we’re not missing anything. This can make it difficult to relax and enjoy the natural world in the present moment.

Our Ability to Be Alone

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Smartphones can also make us intolerant of boredom. When constantly entertained by our phones, it can be difficult to learn to be comfortable with silence and our thoughts. This can make it difficult to enjoy our company and appreciate life’s simple things.

Our Sense of Self

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Smartphones can also give us unrealistic expectations of what life should be like. When we see people on social media who seem to have perfect lives, it can make us feel like our own lives are not good enough. This can damage our self-esteem and sense of self.

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