Letter to the editor

Moira Gilles

Dear Editor,

Smartphones have been prominent for around 10 years now. The idea that a computer can fit in the palm of your hand is no longer so astonishing. The majority of Americans are smartphone owners, 77 percent to be exact according to the Pew Research Center. Is this incredible access to technology a potential problem?

Does anyone really need answers to any question imaginable on command continuously? We have all become too dependent on an instant answer. This convenience is helping us avoid critical or logical problem solving. Soon we will have a hard time thinking things out independently and won’t know what steps to take to find solutions.

To solve this problem of instant gratification winning over our own thought processes, I am going to suggest the most extreme solution first: We all need to downgrade our smartphones. In this day and age, people would argue that everyone needs a mobile phone. But does your phone also need to be a computer, television, camera and everything else on top of that? I think not. By downgrading our phones, we will have the opportunity to examine problems ourselves first and try to improve our deductive reasoning skills.

I know that getting rid of your smartphone is seen as the end of the world. So, here’s a more practical solution: Try to limit the number of times you choose the knowledge on the internet over your own. For example, if you know the way somewhere, don’t doubt yourself. If you need to do simple math, use your thinking skills. The brain power we each have and its skills of adaptation cannot be beaten.

By choosing to determine things using our own reasoning, we are improving ourselves and our own mental capacity. We have only had smartphones for around ten years. We have had reason and willpower forever.