Mobile Devices are everywhere today.
That statement can be taken in completely different ways depending the person who reads it. One person would respond to that statement “…and it’s awesome, because mobile devices are fun”, while another person would respond “…and it’s a tragedy, because they have taken over how we interact with people and the world around us”, and yet a third person could say “…and it’s helped me be able to connect with more people than I would have been able to without them”.
Interesting how different people view and react to the same thing.
Yes, mobile devices can be fun. But we should still set boundaries and not be on them 24/7.
Yes, mobile devices have taken over how we interact with the people and world around us. But that is not always a bad thing…it all depends on how we allow them to affect the way we interact. We can miss things right next to us OR we can be more connected to things we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.
Yes, it does help us be able to connect with more people than we otherwise might have been able to. But that is not always a good thing…again, it depends on how we allow them to affect us. We can become connected with some people we shouldn’t be OR we can become more connected and involved in some really cool things happening far away from our physical location.
I think what we all need to do is take a step back from our initial reaction to the idea that mobile devices are everywhere, take a deep breath, and learn a lesson from Hollywood.
Yes, I said learn a lesson from Hollywood…and I didn’t mean the “what not to do” type of lesson that we can usually learn from Hollywood. Rather, it’s a good lesson we should all learn.
I was thinking about different TV Shows I’ve seen recently, trying to think of how often we see someone portrayed as always being on their mobile devices. I see people using their cell phones and other mobile devices to text, call, connect on social media, etc. But I can’t think of someone in any shows I’ve recently watched where their character is one who is always looking at and focusing on their mobile devices (I’m sure there is someone on some show somewhere, but it’s not the norm).
Even in shows like the Big Bang Theory and Scorpion, which portray people who have a hard time with social interactions and like to use mobile devices or computers, the characters actually do quite a bit of different things and activities away from their mobile devices…and even have somewhat of an active social life.
Can you image watching a show where the characters are always on their mobile devices? We’d watch people sitting on their couch looking down at a phone or tablet, moving their hand back and forth on that screen. There would be very little dialogue, minimal character to character interaction, limited character development, and almost no action of any kind. How boring would that be?!
We don’t want to watch a show on TV about people always on their mobile devices, because that is not fun to watch. So why do we think it is a fun way to live real life?
The characters on TV do use their mobile devices, it’s not like they never have them or use them. But ironically I think they use them on the TV Shows with more moderation and purpose than many who are watching the show do. That is a lesson I think we need to learn from Hollywood.
We don’t need to go to one extreme and pitch all our mobile devices because they change how we interact with people. Many inventions down through history have changed many aspects of our life. Not all change is bad. As long as we don’t allow mobile devices to isolate us from people, then it’s not a bad change…it’s just a change.
We also don’t need to go to the other extreme of basing our entire life on our mobile devices just because they are fun and we like to use them. Moderation is a good thing, even for good things. We do still need to interact with the people and world us, and we need to do that in person more and use our mobile devices as a tool to help us interact rather than take over that interaction.
Generally speaking, Hollywood has not given us many good lessons to learn…as a parent and as a Youth Pastor, I spend a good deal of time either trying to shield my kids from what Hollywood puts out or correcting my kids and my students thinking when they do see/hear something from Hollywood. But this is a good lesson to learn from them.
Mobile Devices are everywhere today. But that is not a bad thing. Learn to use them as needed, while still interacting with the people and world around you in person regularly.