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Smartphones, Boredom, and the Paradox of Human Behavior in the 21st Century

Main image to the post Smartphones, Boredom, and the Paradox of Human Behavior in the 21st Century

If extraterrestrial observers were to examine Earth today, they would likely perceive humans as peculiar beings. Despite an abundance of food, many individuals endure hunger. Paradoxically, humans engage in conflict and inflict harm upon one another.

Furthermore, despite their advanced cognitive abilities, people often walk with their heads down, oblivious to their surroundings. This behavior has led to a surge in accidents caused by "aruki sumaho" (walking while using smartphones). According to the Tokyo Fire Department, over 158 individuals have been hospitalized due to such incidents in the past five years.

In China, these individuals are referred to as the "di tou zu" (low-head tribe), a term that satirizes their constant preoccupation with their smartphones. This phrase ironically suggests that the modern smartphone has become the paramount authority in society.

As an individual with limited coordination, I find it challenging to simultaneously use a smartphone and walk. I am amazed by those who can seamlessly navigate crowded streets while typing. Their ability almost suggests that humanity is undergoing a new evolutionary stage.

In reality, situations that necessitate immediate attention to one's phone screen are relatively infrequent. The persistent use of smartphones may be attributed to the issue of "boredom," a problem that has perplexed philosophers for centuries.

The renowned Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai once wrote, "Lifting my head/ I gaze at the moon above a mountain/ Lowering my head/ I reminisce about home." By setting aside our smartphones and observing our surroundings, we can appreciate the gentle spring breeze and the blooming cherry blossoms. Let us raise our heads and move forward with purpose.

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Round userpic of the post author Eugene Alta
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May 21, 2023 | 05:09