Is smartphone making us unsmart?

Md Mustakimur Rahman

Without any doubt, smartphones have totally changed the method of communication. These phones come with multifunctional tools with several numbers of applications which bring uncountable benefit to us. Literally, it has become a part of our daily life and it is very difficult to live without this device now a day. It seems that this device is an integral part of our life and we are so much dependent on it. Hence, we can say that this device has impacts in changing human behaviour. Although there is no way to deny that it has some positive impacts on human life; however, it seems that smartphones are making people unsmart too. Back in days, people did not have any difficulties in remembering someone’s phone number and other task to do; but, now the scenario is completely poles apart. It would not be wrong to say that the greatest drawback of using smartphones is the adverse impact on people’s memory. Due to extreme use of smartphones, people are developing a tendency to forget things easily. Consequently, we get trouble and cannot contact with other once our smartphones have been stolen or broken.
The days are gone when children used to play in the ground; but, now the so called useful tools including some social networking applications, fully functional web surfing, games and many others mindlessly subjugate time of us. Instead of doing some fruitful work, children keep on wasting time on smartphones. From the bedroom to the washroom, from classroom to office, people are busy in using their smartphones. It is even very common to see people are using phones on the street without noticing anything. On the other side, some drivers are ignoring the traffic rules and using phones while they are diving. As a result, we see some fatal road accidents. This is how people are being addicted to their smartphones. Everywhere they are seen, they are glued to their screens; they cannot even watch any programme on television without checking their phones, which means nothing ever receives their full attention. It tells that how we are being detached from our families, friends and society too. It is even sadder to say that smartphones are making our students dumb. Regular texting on smartphones has deteriorated people’s English grammar and spellings. They often use SMS language and communicative grammar while they are texting each other. However, they cannot even change this habit of using SMS language on formal papers; i.e.: academic quiz, examination, coursework, etc.
Probably it is the right time to understand how smartphones affect and relate to human psychology before these technologies are fully embedded with us. The harshest part of using a smartphone is that many people do not understand where to draw the thin line between when it comes to use technology. They remain glued to it, even at the expense of another person’s safety. It has become a rising problem throughout the world. A smartphone has so many parts where camera is one of the core and most usable parts. People are using this camera everywhere, but sad to say that sometimes people seems do not know where and when to use this camera. On 3rd October, 2016, Khadija Akter Nargis, a student of Sylhet Government Mohila College was hacked on her way home from college by Badrul Alam while some people were looking on and they filmed it with their smartphones. However, no one stepped forward to help her. How could people just stand by and watch something such horrible happening to a young girl? How come filming gets priority, but not saving someone’s life. Unimaginable pain and humiliation for a girl that could have easily been prevented had one of the students decided to put a stop to the senseless crime. Sadly, this is not the first time people decided to film a crime scene or accident scene instead of jumping in to help the victim. We often see many short films on various crimes in social media. A bitter truth is that it is not against our law to stand behind and watching any accident scene. Although filming a crime scene is sometime important to use it as evidence; however, it cannot be any priority work. Saving human life must be the priority.
People are not legally responsible to save anybody unless he/she is a part of the incident. Although, in legal sense, we are not responsible, however, where is our humanity and morality? For some people, it is simply a lack of sympathy. Additionally, some people are giving priority in using technology to film the accident rather than saving their lives. Does it mean people are losing their moral sense day by day by using smartphones? Literally, it is one of the dumbest ideas to film a crime scene rather than try to save the victim.
No doubt that smartphone has so many good sides and it helps us in several ways. However, we need to know why and how we are using our smartphones. We should not just use the phone to alter us into unsmart and dumb.
The writer is a Lecturer, Department of Law, Notre Dame University Bangladesh. He can be reached at: mrahman.ntu@outlook.com

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