Left to Our Own Devices

Chaussée d'Antin La Fayette Metro station, Paris, FR by John Linton

In the past, the phrase “left to our own devices” had meant that someone was not controlled and could do what they wanted or was left to look after themselves without any help. They had the ability the figure things out on their own or entertain themselves.

In the age of the smartphone, it has come to also mean a person who is almost continually “connected” to the world around them through their smartphone.

S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL by John Linton
S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL by John Linton

According to Dr. Dale Archer in Psychology Today:

“With every passing day, technology is overtaking our daily lives. Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, career or economic status, you’re probably packing a smartphone right now. In fact, 56% of all Americans own one. The phone, computer, tablet and other high tech devices have become not just an object, but for many a best friend.

Many suffer from anxiety if they lose their phone, even if only for a few minutes. We rely on it to do everything from saying “I love you” to breaking up, from checking bank balances to investing, from sharing photos of the grandchild to sexting. We can carry out a plethora of daily tasks, right from the palm of our hand.”

Thanks to Richard Knight for the nomination for Story of the Week.