What if we have it totally wrong about phones?

#SingularityNow: How Smartphone Addiction Is Saving The World (2017) Buy here in print or ebook.

Smartphone addiction is usually seen as a bad thing. #SingularityNow explores a different spin on phones, and their bad rap. Looking through the long lens of evolution and the fossil record, it examines the possibility that life on earth is changing right now, in an event called “the Singularity.” After this moment we may have only our phones to show us the way.

An excerpt:

 

CHAPTER 1

How could smartphone addiction
possibly be helping?

 

 

 

“We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

—Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and Pixar
(New York Times, 2010)

 

 

 

Smartphone addiction is bad, right?

The little devices are dumbing us down. They’re giving us shorter attention spans, ruining our real connections with other people, and more of our kids are killing themselves if they have one. And that’s before we get around to radio waves, brain cancer, or conflict minerals.

Smartphones are bad, addiction is worse, this terrible thing is happening to us all, and we have to save the kids. That is a pretty common theme to a lot of worried articles being shared these days.

What if we’re wrong?

Could smartphones really be great? Are phones powerful enough to save the world from the environmental calamity we believe is already upon us?

 

Mobile phones grew faster than any technology before:

  • 2008: Apple sold 13 million iPhones
  • 2015: 231 million
  • 2017: 70% of all people on Earth have a cell phone

 

As a freelance writer living in San Francisco since the mid-nineties, I’ve witnessed several tech waves begin in Silicon Valley and spread across America. There was the web (Google), then the web 2.0 (Facebook), then the smartphone (Apple and Google). My fiction writing often has a sci-fi bent, and living and working in a city of innovators and early adopters has been inspirational, infuriating, and terrifying.

Over time, I’ve come to the viewpoint that I am looking a few years into the future. Some stuff that is emerging around me, will be widespread one day. That’s just a simple fact, I’ve witnessed it several times. I signed up for a newsletter called Craigslist by giving Craig Newmark my email address while drinking at a bar in North Beach. I’m not an early adopter by any means, but just by swimming in this sea, it turns out I’ve often seen ahead of the curve.

 

Now, I see smartphone addiction saving the world

Does this mean I think being addicted to your phone is a good thing? Not necessarily, on an individual level. This book isn’t about a point of view I am supporting, it is about a phenomenon I’m observing. Personally, I would like to get rid of my smartphone, but like you, I’m not going to. I use it all the time, and I like what it does.

I don’t like how much time I spend on it, keeping it charged, not paying attention to my wife talking to me because I’m reading some link she sent me, and a list of other complaints.

But I’m stuck with it. An admitted addict, managing my habit, somewhat unsuccessfully.

Yet…is there hope?

Listen reader, to my tale.

Here you will perhaps gain another view of the little demon in your pocket. Will it be an easy ride? Definitely not. There is no way I can promise you salvation from your smartphone addiction.

But you will see the problem for what it is.

And to get there, we’re going to have to talk about the Singularity, a nerdy hip catchphrase meaning, ‘the moment computers become smarter than people.’

And some memes:

 

SN extra smart

SN forgot

 

SN phone home

 

 

SN trust

SN unblockable texts

#SingularityNow: How Smartphone Addiction Is Saving The World (2017) Buy here in print or ebook.

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