Menu

Mind the Gap

Our blogs are platforms from which we share our experiences, opinions, and views with the online world. For Mind the…

  • Ready to write? We’ll give you a new challenge each Monday. Publish a new post on your blog that interprets the challenge. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More

Our blogs are platforms from which we share our experiences, opinions, and views with the online world. For Mind the Gap challenges, we want to hear what you think about a divisive issue. Each challenge will include a poll where you can cast your vote along with your fellow Daily Post participants. After you vote, tell us more about how you feel by expanding on the topic in a blog post. Be sure to visit other participants’ posts to get some healthy discussion going.

To participate, tag your posts with DPchallenge and leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; link-baiters beware! We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Friday.


OMG can u blieve it? We’ve had the internet in our pockets and purses for almost six years: Apple released the first iPhone on June 29th, 2007, and the first Android-powered phone followed in 2008. As of November 2012, 85% of U.S. adults owned a cellphone. We use phones to check the weather, text one another, shop, take pictures and video, and sometimes even talk to one another. They’re convenient and fun, but are they ruining our focus and souring our relationships?

Smartphones: blessing or curse?

Is the ubiquitous internet — that constant need to ogle our phones at the first free moment — affecting our ability to focus? Do you find yourself compelled to change your Facebook status, or check your blog stats, or forward that new lolcat when you should be writing that proposal, building that deck, or designing that new site? Do you give your spouse laser eyes when you’ve served dinner and they’re texting a friend or taking a call while dinner gets cold? Is that constant alluring stream of self-validating Twitter @replies, Facebook Likes, and Instagram hearts affecting our ability to relate to human beings in the flesh?

If you ask The Verge author Paul Miller, he’ll tell you it’s not the internet that’s ruining us, we’re our own worst enemies. Miller recently came back to the internet after one year of self-imposed exile: no email, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Google Maps, period:

What I do know is that I can’t blame the internet, or any circumstance, for my problems. I have many of the same priorities I had before I left the internet: family, friends, work, learning. And I have no guarantee I’ll stick with them when I get back on the internet — I probably won’t, to be honest. But at least I’ll know that it’s not the internet’s fault. I’ll know who’s responsible, and who can fix it.

What do you think? Is the ubiquitous internet ruining us, or is Chicken Little back with another falling sky? Over at alternativeadventist, Nicole describes her struggle with the internet, saying that moderating internet consumption is like committing to healthy eating and exercise, which too takes effort to maintain:

I’m starting to think that moderating my Internet use is akin to exercise and healthy eating: I know it’s good for me and that I’ll feel healthier in the long run, but society is built for convenience and instant gratification so I have to make a conscious choice everyday to do what’s best for me.

But that feels like a lot of work. Maybe I’ll just check my Facebook account instead.

Answer the poll below, then expand on your thoughts and feelings about whether or not the internet is ruining our focus and our ability to relate to other humans in an original blog post on your site. Be sure to tag your entry with DPchallenge.

105 Comments

Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

    1. I have also given up Facebook and any other social networking……. I feel liberated, like running stark naked through the long grass at the height of the summer. =)

      1. I gave up facebook over a year ago and nothing….NOTHING has made me want to go back. Granted, I blog and use other social media sites, but facebook was a ridiculous life sucker. I’m glad I’m off of there.

      2. I really cannot see the fascination with fb, all my family are on it and they squabble one minute and kissing up to each other the next, I do miss my friends in the US, but I had to sacrifice something before I lost all dignity and sanity. but there is far much more to life then fb, like my utter compulsion to blog lol :D

      3. Yes me also when my head allows it, I tried starting a blog many time and then it just all came together and a year and a bit later I did something stupid while cleaning up data bases, I cleaned up the wrong one and it all went bye bye. That was mysoresoul.co.uk and I decided to rebuild my photography website and decided to make it a blog which was the better idea. I just wish I had the energy to do more lol. :)

      4. Oh that sucks! Yeah, I just started blogging. Just trying to explore my creative writing skills a bit and get some feedback from others. It’s definitely fun.

      5. yeah it sucked, but I wrote hard, I wrote insainly digging into my soul and somethings came out I didn’t wish to, but now they are out I feel better for it, but like you I enjoy it and just see where it leads me :-)

  1. I do not have a phone that will connect me with the internet. I have a “Dumb” phone. However, I usually have my phone with me in case of an emergency or if I get separated from others in my group (I love it for that feature.)
    I can go days without getting online but I rarely go a day without using my cell phone to text or call someone. When I am done for the day, I turn it off; my close friends and family have my home phone number.

    1. I’m with you on not connecting to the internet via my cell phone. I’ve used the calculator & my son uses it as a GPS when we’re on the road, but other than that, it’s for communicating when away from home or if we lose each other from a group.

  2. The internet yes, for blogging, for search but a stock standard mobile is good!! I don´t want a phone for photography of for maps… that takes the fun out of doing the real thing!!

    I would happily throw at least one of my phones into the water… pollution permitting!! As for the apple craze… it ruins good conversation and good living… look what they started!!

    It´s like saying the addiction is caused by the person, if the substance wasn´t there the addiction wouldn´t take a hold!! ;-)

  3. I have an iPhone but I prefer my laptop to be connected. I can write better and I can use complete words. I hate the new language for text messages. I’m old fashioned, I guess.

  4. Like most questions the Smartphone question has more than one answer. So I pass on the – jump on the mean green f**K cell phones machine – or getting off on the down with anti-technophiles freeway exit. Lets face it cacti make lousy toilet paper and cell phones bad plants right??? An open mind and some sense makes the best use of many things. I offer this idea as to one thing that made a positive contribution to my life with my daughter starting college. A quick text is easy, no guilt, flash views into her world, later pics, morph into longer stories and later calls. No pressure makes easy discussions. No look to put her off no tones of voice mistaken for judgements just a quick beep to announce we are thinking of each other. I make great company and don’t care if I’m filling in for time walking to class or waiting in the stall to finish and flush. It’s all good cause if she’s texting I’m sure its all good. Safe and happy is what I know and that’s enough to get me a smart phone.

    For the downside way too many wtf’s and lol’s and EVIL MICROWAVES!!!!!

      1. I visited your site and like your humour. I assume hat your comment was meant offer support?
        If not hang up now :) In the meantime I am barely mo9re than clueless about how all this works but do have a blog. Any suggesions would e gratefully received as so far i amm just posting poetry.

        Alex

  5. Having major problems with the format of this blog theme…but here are my thoughts:

    http://racheldangerw.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/smartphones-hrm/

    “When was the last time I stood in line and just looked around at things? Or went on a walk without headphones in and just enjoyed nature breathing around me? Or did something adventurous, said something funny, looked cute, or had drinks with friends without feeling the compulsive need to report to twitter/facebook/instagram/a texting buddy about it?”

43 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More