(AP Photo/Andy Wong) A commuter wearing a face mask to curb the spread of the coronavirus browses a smartphone inside a Beijing subway train on Feb. 10, 2021.

Binky. That’s what mobile phones have become – Binky for adults. We visually suck on rectangular pieces of plastic, but like a baby’s pacifier (binky), cell phones offer little social, intellectual, or cultural nourishment.

In fact, according to recent research, cell phone bingeing actually inhibits social development. Apparently, humans do not learn to get along with or appreciate other humans through electronic exchange. Social growth requires face-to-face interaction.

Some binky addicts avoid conversations by “email.” They use flying thumbs to semi-represent themselves. But thumbing through the alphabet is not the same as sitting down with a friend and looking for common understanding. Many “text guys” lazily rely on shortcut acronyms. But frivolous LOL doesn’t convey real emotion. It’s like a lazy thumb brush-off. And the ubiquitous emoji is a shortcut for those who suffer from tired thumb disease. No need to frown, frown, frown. Just hide behind the emoji.

Only an illiterate Binky fanatic could have invented such communicative atrocities. They are like stick figures that ancient humans left in cave walls in case future travelers might come over. Humans eventually developed language because cave pictographs did little to advance civilization. The emoji says, “I saw your message, but it’s not worth a meaningful reply.”

Binky’s dependents use gadgets to avoid social contact. Apparently, they’re afraid to face friends and strangers at grocery stores, clothing stores, or restaurants. avoiding human contact.

Money is binky. Financial transactions, even the purchase of soft drinks at fast food, are conducted through mobile phones and credit cards. Direct deposit eliminates financial contact between employer and employee. Such practices prevent Binkyites from learning basic concepts about the value of money.

For those seeking intellectual nourishment, Binky offers only the illusion of wisdom. Yes, Binky offers access to an entire library of information. But data is not wisdom. Data is only the precursor to wisdom. Wisdom is understanding data, organizing data, and using data to solve problems. One gets the data. But often through intelligent conversation, a person develops wisdom.

No matter how much you focus on Binky, it will never provide you with cultural nourishment. To understand culture, citizens must explore beyond their familiar comfort zones of art, music, literature, history, and civic responsibility.

Research shows that Binky’s dependents, who are overly dependent on electronic devices, gravitate towards limited sources of information and entertainment. They come to view those sources as more reliable than others. Binky-led or not, we all do it, but the electronic world makes it easier.

The advantage of binkiedom is undeniably beneficial. You can call, exchange pictures and leave messages with almost anyone in the world. Great! And you can access data about almost anything (or any individual) at any time. wonderful!

The danger is not technology. The danger lies in how we use technology. The danger is over-reliance on technology at the expense of social interaction. The danger is forgetting that life’s greatest rewards do not come from pulses and pixels, but from other humans.

Put the binky in your pocket. get your life back move around. smile. Say hello, especially to strangers. Cherish the time you spend with others. Above all, never forget that humans are social animals.

Don Gale, The longtime journalist from Utah remembers his first computer over 40 years ago with a floppy disk and 16k of memory. They were useful tools, not invasive pests.


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