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The Blue & Gray Press | February 25, 2018

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“Smart” phones, making dumb people

readingBy CLAIRE THOMPSON

Merriam-Webster defines the concept of apocalypse as “an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale.”

According to 9to5Mac, 200 million people downloaded the iOS 7 update for iphones within three days of its release.

Putting things in perspective, this equates to approximately 64 percent of the country’s population.

There is no scale more catastrophic than that achieved by the iPhone epidemic; the widespread phenomenon of the smartphone, that thinks for us. It is the invisible yet permeating death of human intelligence.

It seems impossible for this small rectangle of information and leisure to destroy us.

However, it is almost inevitable due to the sheer convenience of it all.

Such convenience removes any necessity or desire to crack open a book, or even a map.

People relied on reading maps before GPS.

Before Google, there was the library. Before Sparknotes, there was actually reading the book.

In this day and age the majority of people read in a purely functional way.

They know the sign says “Stop” and can read a status on Facebook.

They read, but they are not literate. Very few people read books in pursuit of knowledge anymore.

To this claim people may reply, “There’s a Kindle application for reading books.” This is true.

But why take the time to read a book on Kindle when you could be instantly entertained by a six-second Vine?

Why read a book before bed when you can check Facebook or Tumblr?

The motivation to read is overruled by the ease of availability of stimuli such as, commercial less television or movies on Netflix.

Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, predicted the failure of Amazon’s Kindle, according to John Markoff in a 2008 New York Times article, “The Passion of Steve Jobs.”“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” Jobs observed to Markoff. “40 percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed…because people don’t read anymore.”

I am personally devastated by the implications of this. In the future of this instantaneous society, the patience required to create and appreciate literature might be lost forever.

It is time to bring back appreciation for beauty and its lack of function, or we may as well be robots.