Smartphones killed my free time.

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Lately I’ve noticed that my social circle looks like this:

Image

Instead of actually spend time socializing and sharing knowledge, experience or even the stupidest gossip, my friends and I prefer to look at pictures of this: Image

Indeed, while I could be reading or taking extra classes I am spending my time on my phone or my laptop looking at pictures of cats or other interesting things to be that have no point towards my future or education.

Recently one of my friends mentioned how she couldn’t delete her Facebook because she would be completely disconnected. It seems that we have not realized how much this method of communication has integrated into out lives. My Facebook profile alone connects me to my University’s Events, my study groups, my extra curricular activities and my friends. I don’t think that my phone has rang in months, while I have at least one inbox every day on my Facebook account. Deactivating my account means that I would have to add at least an extra 20 numbers on my phone, organize study groups meetings and hope that anyone shows up, and that I would have to call the school to know any news about future events. It is absurd to think how much a simple website could turn my life and life of other individuals around.  In fact there are 845 million users that are presently Facebook active in 2012 and the number keeps rising. Even while Facebook is free, it was able to collect $1 bill. by 2011.Most of that money comes from advertisement that are conveniently placed around your Facebook newsfeed. One of their new and innovative ways to collect money is that by donating $100 you could write a letter to Mark Zuckenberg and he is guaranteed to read and respond to it personally. Who would spend money on that raises major questions in my head.

In the Netherlands alone, out of a population of app. 16 mil. around 7 mil are actively using a facebook profile and it keeps growing. Most usage is between the years of 18-34, yet there is no real age constraint on who can use it.

However what happens to those profiles when people that are using them become deceased? As a matter of fact 8000 people using a profile die every day. Facebook apparently has its own electronic graveyard. Time magazine mentions in 2009:” the company’s policy of “memorializing” profiles of users who have died, taking them out of the public search results, sealing them from any future log-in attempts and leaving the wall open for family and friends to pay their respects.”(Fletcher, Time Magazine) Or one could “memorialize” someone by joining an app for example Evelast. In other words this is like building an electronic gravestone for someone. Our electronic lives became so advanced that they not only skew our living reality, they give a whole different meaning to “life after death” .

 

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One response »

  1. Really well written, Ira. Very interesting, too. Good job on doing the extra research to take it even deeper. Fascinating. A friend of mine who died two years ago still has his FB page active, and we all post messages to this person we miss. Kind-of strange maybe, but also comforting.

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