Do you have a smartphone? How much time do you spend using your smartphone? Nowadays, almost everyone in the world uses a smartphone regardless of nationality or age for its tremendous convenience. Users not only find information easily but also interact with friends on SNS using only a smartphone. Smartphones have become a necessity in modern society. Then, could you live without your smartphones? What do you imagine life would be like?
Serious Addiction to Smartphones
Despite their many advantages, smartphone addiction has become a serious problem in society. According to a study conducted by National Information Society Agency (NIA), it is found that accounts of people who were in danger of becoming extremely dependent on their smartphone have increased across most ages and especially among the younger generations. People who are addicted to smartphones only pay attention to the artificial world created by their smartphones. They can’t focus on reality. This problem is leading to outcasts in society, and there is also an increased risk of people suffering from mental diseases such as depression. Besides these problems, smartphones are also causing physical danger. People don’t watch where they are walking; as a result, there has been an increase in car accidents. These people are referred to as ‘smombie’, which is a newly coined word made by combining ‘smartphone’ and ‘zombie’.
Inspired by the shock of this reality, two SMT reporters decided to spend an entire day away from their smartphones. Before the experiment, the two reporters also decided to go electronic-free for the day as well, so they forbad themselves from using items such as their laptops. Here is an account of how the day went for the two SMT reporters.
Experience Various Things by Turning off the Phone
Before the experimental project, the two SMT reporters noticed that they were in the same Liberal Arts law class, so they arranged to visit a local court trial together because it would help with their class assignment of writing about a trial. The reporters met at the bus stop near Sookmyung Women’s University at 9 a.m. Without phones, they had no access to a map application, but luckily it was not difficult to find a bus that would take them to the courthouse because of the posted bus route map. However, after reaching the bus stop near the courthouse and getting off the bus, both reporters started to panic because they didn’t know which way to walk in order to get from the bus stop to the courthouse. Confused and frustrated, the SMT reporters were afraid when they thought of being late for the trail and failing to do their assignment for class. Fortunately, a passer-by noticing the reporters looked confused offered them help and gave directions to the courthouse. Thanks to the stranger’s help, SMT reporters arrived in time to the courthouse. A huge debt of gratitude came over the SMT reporters toward the stranger, and reporters realized that a map application is not the only way to reach one’s destination.
After watching the trial, SMT reporters decided to do something outside, so they decided to go to the used-goods market in Jongro because it’s an outdoor market and there are a lot of amazing things that can’t be found in online markets. After arriving at the market, they walked around the market, looking at various used goods. They saw all kinds of items like used clothes, records, books, and even electronics. Everything was vintage but attractive because of their retro style and extremely cheap prices. One SMT Han bought a used camera and the other reporter Jung purchased a nice jumper. With a smartphone, they would have likely spent time searching for price comparisons, but with the items being so cheap, there was no need to do it and they just spend the afternoon shopping without looking for better bargains on their phones. They were also able to enjoy bargaining with merchants, which is not possible when shopping online with the smartphone.
After shopping, they returned to Sookmyung Women’s University for an appointment with another SMT reporter. They had arranged to meet at the main entrance of Campus I at 6 o’clock, but the two SMT reporters had gotten so hung up in shopping that they reached the appointed place a bit late. However, the SMT reporter waited patiently for them at the main entrance, and they were only about 10 minutes late. The two late SMT reporters Han and Jung apologized for their lateness but were also surprised that they were still able to meet up with their friend without calling her in advance to tell her they would be late. At a cocktail bar near the campus, the three reporters enjoy a chat over cocktails. The talk was deep because there were no interruptions from smartphones. Because two reporters had promised not to use their smartphones for the day, they asked the other reporter to kindly turn off her phone for the evening, fearing the temptation by all of them looking at it. Thanks to the two reporters’ endeavors not to use their smartphones, all three reporters had a great evening that lasted until midnight because one of the reporters had to obey the dormitory curfew. After returning home, all reporters simply went off to bed without looking at their smartphones. It was a peaceful sleep and by sleeping early, they sleep soundly and woke up fresh the next morning.
A Right Not to Be Obsessed
Since the advent of the smartphone, life without it has become unimaginable. Smartphones provide a variety of convenient functions. However, after experiencing these things, SMT reporters realized they had lived a life obsessed with their smartphones. Without phones, they met a kind stranger who helped them out of trouble, shopped leisurely, and enjoyed a real deep conversation with friends. Smartphones are helpful, but what really helps is the proper use of them. How about stepping away from your smartphone world? You will surely find value in your life. Why not go smartphone-free for a day?
Jung Kim Hyeseung / Cub reporter
Kim Han Yujin / Cub reporter