10/28: The Smartphone Hostage – Falyn Goldstein

The TEDTalk by Robin Grebing was very intriguing and a little scary, as it called out humans’ reality. This talk focused on how humans are addicted to their phones and most of the time they don’t realize their behaviors. 

Grebing states that oftentimes our perceptions and reality are very different and people have trouble evaluating their own behaviors. She discusses that this lack of awareness may be hurting us and rather than controlling our behaviors, we are “slaves to our impulses.” I found it really interesting that she first discussed many pet peeves people typically have when around others who are using their phones. Actions like checking it during a movie, talking on speaker, and texting while at dinner were all examples she provided. After stating these, she then proceeded by saying that we have all been guilty of these actions. She essentially explained how we have our pet peeves, but we also do it ourselves because we “can’t help it.” This example to me was a little horrifying because it is so accurate and true. All of these examples are extreme pet peeves of mine, yet I find myself reaching down towards my phone just to click the screen. And, for what? The phone can wait.

Personally, I think that everyone should watch this TEDTalk as it is extremely moving and I definitely think I am going to be more conscious of my phone usage, or try to be. Grebing also discusses how when people are separated slightly from their phones, they produce cortisol. This is the same hormone that people produce when they feel fear, and the fact that this is being triggered by phone separation is extremely problematic and highlights humans’ reliance on their personal devices. Another disturbing fact Grebing gives is that the average human attention span has been reduced by four seconds, from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. It is currently lower than the attention span of a goldfish due to our reliance on phones. I wonder if talks like these and abrupt facts will make people realize the harms of their devices, or if this is merely a temporary wake-up call and people will return to their reliance again?

3 thoughts on “10/28: The Smartphone Hostage – Falyn Goldstein

  1. Hi Falyn, I also read this article and thought your critique was very well written. I agree that every one should watch this talk because it touches on topics that you dont realize until you’ve heard it, but once you hear it you cant forget about it. I also thought it was interesting that, to go off your cortisol comment, using our phones exhibit the same neurological effect as using drugs.

  2. Hi Falyn, I found your discussion to be very interesting as I can relate to the exact same thing you mentioned– having pet peeves when it comes to others being on their phones, but still doing it myself. A lot of the time, I try to be conscious about not being on my phone or not talking on speaker phone, but a lot of the time it’s easy to forget and, without fully realizing, I tap my screen to check my notifications. I think that shows how much we rely on technology today. To purely solve boredom, we directly think to go on our phones rather than have an actual conversation with someone who is right next to us. To me, technology can serve as an outlet after a stressful day. However, there comes a point where enough is enough.

  3. I didn’t watch this TED talk, but it sounds so interesting and scary to me as well. In the article I read, it briefly discussed the idea that our phone usage and technology has become an epidemic, in that it is a metaphorical 24/7 modern day hypodermic needle that produces dopamine. Your post discusses relatively similar things. It is clearly a problem, and even though we know it, recognize it, and discuss it, we still do these things anyways because we can’t control our behavior. It truly is an epidemic, and it seems like this video really emphasized that mentally, technology use is out of our control. I wonder if there is any research indicating that it spans across different generations or if certain ones are worst than others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *