How long can you last without checking your smartphone? An hour? Two? A day? According to a 2012 Time magazine survey, one in four people checks their phone every 30 minutes. This shows how dependent people are on electronic devices.
Smartphones today are an essential part of life. But they have also created phubbers. Their eyes typically focus on nothing but their phones. Their ears normally have earphones stuffed into them. Their emotions rest on how quickly content loads. These are scenes we see on the MTR, buses, and even on the street.
Although advanced technology brings us unprecedented convenience, it is vitally important that we do not fall into the trap of letting technology dictate our lives.
Elsie Lui, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Elsie. "Phubbing", or ignoring someone because you're checking your phone, is a very common trend. A group of friends out for dinner, not speaking, but texting, is a familiar sight. And who hasn't seen a couple on a date, both on their phones, more interested in their Facebook feed than each other?
Mobile phones are a brilliant invention. They let us keep in touch with people all over the world. They reduce parents' worries about where their children are. Mobile apps mean people in remote areas can access health information and keep in touch with the rest of the world. And the range of games means we never have to be bored.
But it's not healthy to always be looking at your phone. Not interacting with people in the real world means your social skills break down, and you can only communicate through texts and emoji. It's also rude. When we are in someone's company, we should pay attention to them, not stare at a little screen.
Cellphones are useful, but their main function is to keep in touch with people. If those people are right in front of us, we should make the most of a real, human connection, and put our phones away.
Karly, deputy editor