Reader Mail

The problems of living in the digital age

Regarding the story “There’s no easy way to escape from your smartphone” in the Aug. 5 edition, I find that the addiction damages us physically and mentally.

Indeed, the disease of over-enthusiasm for the smartphone has spread widely in our lives since its introduction. For example, the games are so fun we play alone no matter where we are or when. Thus, we get absorbed in the virtual reality. Consequently, the amount of sleep we get is shorter and shorter day by day. This sometimes triggers insomnia, and lessens productivity in school or the workplace.

Moreover, mobile phone users are chronically tired, such as headache, vertigo, and stiff shoulder and neck. Such chronic disorders will cause fatal ailments, such as heart failure and cancers. As a result, it will be a great loss of human resources under the plunge in working population in Japan.

Second, smartphones make it easy for people to communicate with others via social networking sites around the clock, decreasing the amount we talk person to person. We use text messages on the spur of the moment, while writing snail mail would make us more calm and considerate to others. As a result, we tend to become more selfish and misunderstandings grow into blame and bullying on the internet.

Generally speaking, human beings, regardless of skin color, age or gender, stay emotionally healthy when they spend time with each other, not digital devices. Therefore, human interactive communication must be a priority even in the artificial intelligence-oriented society to come.

Nowadays, unfortunately, work is less efficient without digital tools and daily life can be less convenient. Therefore, we should relieve the stress that comes from our devices by frequently switching them off. And let’s confirm that we are never slaves to them and that we have the wisdom to control the digital world.

MIEKO OKABE
YOKOHAMA

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.