Gum sales have been dropping steadily for five years because people do not look when they are queuing up to pay.
On paper, smartphones are incredible pieces of glass. They have magically healed the boredom because we always have something to do – these infinite streams of content are a perpetual source of inspiration, information and fun. And yet, foods must die because they distort our views and disconnect us from other human beings around us.
Many people have removed the Facebook app from their phone to avoid this stupid habit. "What's going on in my stream?" Do they think. Then they scroll, scroll, scroll, bored and close the application. Repeat this process every 30 minutes. Deleting the app is the best way to take a stand and say that Facebook is a waste of time.
But this idea is nothing new. The battery of your phone does not shrink miraculously. You just spend time using your phone. Flurry says that US users spend nearly an hour in a daily Facebook app (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger).
Imagine what you could do with all this time. It's easy to say that you no longer have the time to read books. But it's harder to justify once you realize you spend an hour browsing your Facebook and Instagram feeds every day.
And I do not judge here because I spend far too much time running my Twitter daily. I probably spend more time watching the screens than most people – too much time.
But something clicked me a few months ago. I still suffered from the fatigue of technology and I wanted to change something.
Technology companies now struggle directly against empathy
I now spend most of my weekends without ever checking a single stream. I do not even need to pay attention to my battery level since I ignore my iPhone for most of the day. At first, I thought I was missing some very important content. I felt disconnected. I fought against my own FOMO. But now, I do not feel anything. What is happening on Instagram? I'm mad.
Facebook is now the worst internet forum you can find. Twitter is filled with horrible and abusive people. Instagram has become a small Facebook now that it has discouraged all the strange, funny accounts of posting with its broken algorithm. LinkedIn's feed is pure spam.
And here is what I realized after having forgotten all these "social" networks. First, they deceive you and push the right buttons to make you check your feed once again. They all use thirsty notifications, promote conflicting messages that engender a lot of engagement and play with your emotions.
The post was played and you want to check one more time if you have more likes on your last Instagram photo. Everything is now a story for you to pay more attention to your phone and you are bored less quickly – animated images tend to attract attention. And many people now pay more attention to the Kardashian family than to their neighbors.
Secondly, I started paying attention to people around me. Phones have become a social tool to get you away from an uncomfortable situation. In one way or another, if a homeless person screams at you, it has become acceptable to look at your phone and pretend that there is something important about your screen . Nobody will judge you.
Phone manufacturers are now selling smartphones with larger screens so you can see more messages on your phone at the same time and less details about the real world around you.
And finally, I realized that I was missing by constantly checking all my feeds. By putting my phone on "Do not disturb" for days, I discovered new places, started conversations and noticed tiny little things that made me smile.
But sometimes you're not in a happy place and your phone can be a great way to escape the real world. Books, movies and video games are also a great way to take a break from the real world. And you will probably get more.
Technology is excellent because it has improved our ways of communicating, sharing information and learning. It generated economic value and reduced some inequalities. But it went too far.
Technology companies are now fighting directly against empathy. They build foods that shape your state of mind and distract you from the world around you. They want to fill you with rage to encourage commitment until you feel empty inside. Food now divides people and affects the structure of our societies.
Having a small computer in your pocket is great, but some people prefer phones with a feature. Forget your phone for a minute, look around and talk to the people next to you.
Featured Image: Paul Taylor / Getty Images