Has our society become too dependent on cell phones and smart devices? Everywhere you look you will see cell phones, tablets, and laptops. Our digital world is continually growing and progressing into an even more digitized society. When is it too much? At what point do we realize that we have a problem?
The artifact above shows a family finally sitting down together to have some quality family time. At first glance you would think it’s just a normal family with a dad, mom, two daughters, a son, their dog, and even a little bluebird in the corner. They seem to be the perfect little family. When we examine the artifact closer, we will notice there is more going on than first meets the eye. The author (ethos) of the artifact uses bland colors to paint his picture. Everyone in the picture, aside from the little boy. has on some variation of blue or purple. These colors don’t bring out feelings of excitement or joy like bright happy colors would. The walls are blue, the couch is blue, most of the clothing is blue or purple, and even the bird in the cage is blue. The use of color is an indicator of the mood the creator of the artifact is wanting to set. A bland, boring, sad scene is being portrayed.
Cell Phones are Everywhere
If you will notice the walls in the room, there are no pictures on the wall except for the one hanging that has a cell phone on it instead of a sweet family photo. There is a television that is glowing, telling us it is on, but no one seems to be paying it any attention. Although the whole family is sitting in the same room together, they are not paying each other any attention. Each person has a cell phone, tablet, or a laptop. They are all connecting to something but that something is not each other. Even the dog and bird have their own device. The dog has a tablet with a twitter symbol on front, and the bird has its own cell phone. Three out of the five family members have on earphones so even if one of them was talking they wouldn’t be able to hear them. This family is more concerned with being connected to their smart phones or tablets than they are with being connected and engaged with each other. Even the photo on the wall shows they value their cell phone above each other. They have smiles on their faces, but the smiles are focused on their device not any meaningful conversations going on. This artifact is trying to tell all of us that families are becoming more attached to our gadgets than we are to ourselves. We are so consumed with our cell phones, tablets, and computers that we have lost touch with reality but more importantly we have lost touch with each other.
The author of this artifact is using appeals based on Logos and Pathos. Logos is shown by using reasoning and logic about the situation at hand. Our society is addicted to our cell phones and devices. Everyone knows this and it is a logical assumption that the author knows this and is playing it up by showing the whole family being more interested in their device than each other. Do we all sit around on our phones and devices 24/7? Of course not. The author is over-emphasizing the fact that it happens a lot. The author is not wrong either, In the article by King University Online, “Cell Phone Addiction: The Statistics of Gadget Dependency”, they found that “iPhone users unlock their phones an average of 80 times per day, while a study of Android users found that they unlock their phones 110 times per day, according to Business Insider.” This statistic proves what the author is conveying; we use our phones a lot. If our society feels the need to create a statistic about how many times a day people unlock their cell phones, then it is very reasonable to say we do it enough to cause concern. Pathos is addressed by the beliefs and values of society be challenged.
Addiction to Gadgets
This is a traditional family at their house with their pets. The author is making a point that the traditional family is being changed by our addiction to our devices. This pathos is trying to incite feelings of guilt or sadness over our devices coming between us and our family. The use of the dog and bird having a tablet and cell phone is one way to bring a sense of urgency to the issue. If it has come this far that even our pets notice then we should really take a closer look at what is happening. In the 2016 article by PR Newswire, “Americans Look at Their Smartphones More than 9 Billion Times A Daily, Up 13 Percent From 2015,” the author references a survey by Delloitte, a multinational professional services network company, that found that “Collectively U.S. smartphone users check their phones in the aggregate more than 9 billion times a day. Nearly half of those surveyed checked their phones in the middle of the night.” Logic and reasoning tell us this is a lot and it is getting worse each year.
This artifact and the statistics that align with the message in the artifact point out that we as a society are becoming more and more addicted to our devices. This is a very touchy subject because obviously we all love our devices and the convenience they bring to our lives. It is very easy to see the appeal in having the digital world at your fingertips, but we as a society should not want to end up like the family in this artifact. Our cell phones, tablets, and laptops are great to have in our digital progressive world, but our family time should be just as important to maintain as our devices are, if not more. If our world were to lose our link to the internet and social media, we will need our friends and family to survive. Take the time to put down your device and make sure those close to you know you are still here and still value their love.