Mobile Culture and Well-Being

By Lamar Gayle

Mobile Culture is used to describe how individuals and groups use mobile technology in their everyday lives. It is reshaping our culture, media, and productivity. Many studies have shown the detrimental aspect of mobile culture, but in order for coexistence, there has to be a balance. This content will provide information on ways to have a healthy relationship bewteen you and your smartphone. Who is in control? Are you using the smartphone, or is the smartphone using you? 

“Technology is neither good nor bad; neither it is neutral.”

~Melvin Kransberg 
“I am working on my phubbing skills.” 
Phubbing – texting while conversing (Turkle, 2015)

What Happens When We Become too Dependent on our Smartphones? 

When we become too dependent on our smartphones, we lose our ability to have a deeper, more spontaneous conversations with others, altering the nature of our social interactions in alarming ways. Cell phones make us promises that are like gifts from a benevolent genie, that we will never have to be alone, that we will never be bored, that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be, and that we can multitask, which is perhaps the most attractive promise of them all. That ability to put your attention wherever you want it to be has become the thing people want most in their social interactions, that feeling you don’t have to commit yourself entirely and you can avoid the terror that there will be a moment in an interaction when you’ll be bored. Allowing oneself a moment of boredom is vital to human interaction and also vital to one’s brain. When you’re bored, your brain is not bored at all. It is replenishing itself, and it needs that downtime. We are very susceptible to cell phones, and we even get a nuerochemical high from the constant stimulation. Dopamine is a brain chemical that literally makes us happy, and it is released every time we receive something on our phones. It could be a text from a loved one, a like, or something we find interesting.