One invention that I could do without would be the cell phone. Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone, and its invention has done a lot of good in the world, but because of the high cost-- our boredom, attention span, and social and intellectual intelligence-- they have to go.
Phones have taken away our ability to be bored. This may seem like a good thing. Being bored is awful, and with all the apps on your phone, you can alleviate that boredom easily. However, being bored every once in awhile makes you a better person, since to alleviate that boredom you have to try new things, like going out to explore the city, learning to cook, or picking up a book. I have read more short stories to alleviate boredom on Saturday afternoons than any other time. Getting lost in a book is a much more preferable pastime than playing 2064 all day.
We miss out on other human experiences as well with phones. Rather than live the moment for what it is, we try to capture it with video and pictures that we never look at again. This effectively ruins the moment for us, by not letting us experience it for what it truly is.
Phones are also making us stupid. As our phones get more advanced, they are able to remember more, like our friends’ and families’ phone numbers, our grocery list and doctor’s appointments. Add the Internet, and we have the entire world literally at our fingertips. When this happens, there is no reason to memorize anything, since a two-second search remembers it for us. Thus our brains get out of practice, and we start to lose material, and begin to rely on our phones more as a crutch than as a useful apparatus.
Phones are making us dumber in other ways as well. At any given moment in class, about one third of the students are on their phones. That means that they are missing out on the information that the teacher is presenting. Although the teacher can take the phone away from the student, and tell them to turn it off, he has to catch them with it first, and some students are very crafty with the way they hide their phones during class.
Cell phones have limited our attention spans. With phones in the hands of every man, woman and child, each one of them binging buzzing alerts-- text messages, calls, and app updates, some people have lost the ability to focus on anything for too long-- especially if it doesn’t have flashy bright imagery-- without checking for something new every 20 seconds.
In the end, although these cellular devices do wonders for the world, such as allow people to contact anyone else at anytime, they come with too high a price tag for us humans to pay, and therefore, I believe, we all could do with a lot less time on our phones.