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  • The dark truth is that it’s become very hard to find anyone

  • and certainly anything more interesting than a smartphone.

  • we love our phones and would never want us to give them up, but it is also gently aware

  • that these delightful gadgets bear a hidden cost.

  • To say we are addicted to our phones is not merely to point out that we use them alot.

  • It signals a darker notion: that we use them to keep our own selves at bay. Because of

  • our phones, we may find ourselves incapable of sitting alone in a room with our own thoughts

  • floating freely in our own heads, daring to wander into the past and the future, allowing

  • ourselves to feel pain, desire, regret and excitement. We are addicted to our phones

  • not because we rely on them, but to the extent that we recruit them to a harmful project

  • of self-avoidance. They do not mean to hurt us. But we mayand probably douse

  • them to injure ourselves. Addiction sounds horrible. But it is a hard name for a normal

  • inclination: a habit of running away from the joys and terrors of self-knowledge.

  • We can look up so much on our phones: we can

  • (if we are inclined) check up the population of Lima (8.473 million); who won the Ladies

  • Final at Wimbledon in 1997 (Martina Hingis); the definition oftautology’ (saying

  • the same thing twice, though in different ways) or perhaps the author of that fascinating

  • quoteWhat you survive makes you stronger’ (Nietzsche). Yet this constant resource has

  • an unwitting, unfortunate side-effect. We consult our phones, rather than ourselves.

  • It’s not that we actually know so many obscure facts. But we already possessin scattered,

  • unpolished formsthe raw material from which a huge number of the very best insights

  • and ideas could be formed: if only we gave them enough time and attention.

  • Almost since the beginning of time, we have prized the opportunity to

  • get away from reminders of humanity and to immerse ourselves in nature. We have wanted

  • to gaze on the grey indifference of the ocean or the bright, incalculable, immensity of

  • the starry sky. But our phones are the enemies of such experiences.

  • They keep intruding our small selves into

  • the picture. We may be on the edge of the Grand Canyon; they are beeping in our back

  • pockets. We may be gazing at the southern slopes of the Matterhorn; they are receiving

  • updates for a food delivery app back home. They ask us never to forget our egoand

  • the endless things that ail us. Without meaning to, they strip away the help the grandeur

  • of nature can offer us.

  • We constantly use our phones to keep track of our appointments. But we areif we

  • think about itquite constrained around the things to which we choose to be alerted.

  • There’s the automated reminder of the session with the dentist; the alert to jog our memories

  • that it’s our parent’s anniversary or the text message to let us know were due

  • to play a tennis match on Sunday afternoon. But there are othervery differentappointments

  • we need to keep in mind. We need reminders to keep appointments with ourselves: we need

  • to spend time with our own worries, to understand them rather than just suffer the anxiety they create.

  • The grandest (and much the worst) is our final appointment: with death. We don’t

  • know how many days we have left to count down. But what we need reminding of is not the day

  • and the hour but the fact. Ideally we’d get a message every morning: Memento, homo,

  • quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris. Remember you are made of dust and and will be dust again.

  • Our phones seem amazingly sophisticated: small

  • miracles of compressed, practical science, working hand in hand with advanced Capitalism.

  • We think so highly of them because we compare them to the past, rather than to the

  • of the future. They are so much more advanced than any device we could possess twenty or

  • forty years ago. Yet they are almost unbearably primitive, in comparison with whatideally

  • the long future will bring. We are still so far from inventing the technology we really

  • require for us to flourish; capitalism has delivered only on the simplest of our needs.

  • We can summon up the street map of Lyons but not a diagram of what our partner is really

  • thinking and feeling; the phone will help us follow fifteen news outlets but not help

  • us know when weve spent more than enough time doing so; it emphatically refuses to

  • distinguish between the most profound needs of our soul and a passing fancy. In the Utopia,

  • our phones will be wiser than we are. They will be kind and not merely subservient. They

  • will know how to edge us away from a stupid decision and how to summon up our better natures.

  • We deserve pity for having been born in such primitive times. . . . .

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The dark truth is that it’s become very hard to find anyone


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B1 中級 美國腔

我們手機的問題 (The Problem With Our Phones)

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    Ken Song 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日