Each post this week serves a dual purpose: an exploration of the topic at hand as well as a re-introduction to big ideas this blog will be grappling with.
Whether or not I should buy an Apple Watch doesn’t seem to be a question of ethics, right? It’s a question about a little computer I strap to my wrist so I don’t have to take my phone out every time it buzzes.
Now, that seems like a minor benefit, but the fear of phones taking over our lives is a common theme among the tech anxious. We spend hours looking at our phones, checking them upwards of a hundred or more times per day, and perceive them vibrating even when they are not. Glowing screens are among the first and last thing we see every day.
Phones interrupt our social lives. Going to the movies, sitting at dinner, chatting with friends, among many others, are activities forever changed by the phone. We disconnect from our immediate social circle to connect with a wider one.
We have also, of course, gained social connections thru these devices. Perhaps an interrupting text is from a mutual friend who cannot attend, or a notification of an event relevant to everyone. More importantly, perhaps it is a communication from a friend who is lost or hurt. Partners and spouses can easily send little updates when the two are apart.
My partner and I use texts and the “Find My Friend” app to make sure the other is ok if one of us is out late with friends.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.