Smartphones influence social relationships: the obsession with posts, photos and chats leads to neglect of the interlocutor. And for the younger ones, the addiction continues even at night
How many times, at the bar, have we witnessed groups of people who instead of talking to each other spend their time looking at their smartphones? How many times, on the other hand, do we stay up late at night caught up in some TV series or chatting with a friend? These situations are now increasingly frequent, so much so that they have entered not only everyone’s lives but also our dictionaries and correspond to the phenomena of “phubbing” and “vamping”.
The first indicates the action with which one neglects one’s physical interlocutor, the person who is with us at that moment, in favor of using the cell phone, consulted often and almost compulsively even without a real motivation.
One of the consequences of this phenomenon is the deterioration of the quality of relationships, since the interaction with others is continuously interrupted by the act of checking one’s smartphone which in some cases can lead to the total absence of the interactions themselves and the self isolation within any context, which can be a family dinner or an outing with friends, ending up undermining one’s ability to hold conversations and build relationships with others.
The term, which was born at the University of Sydney in 2012, is part of an etymological dictionary that has gone viral thanks to a shrewd marketing operation and social media. The paradigm of healthy social relationships has completely turned upside down, especially in the most pathologically worrying situations where it is no longer the ubiquitous smartphone that constitutes a distraction for which to feel guilty but quite the opposite, it is rather those who have had the misfortune to end up with that 46.3% of partners who are victims of phubbing embody an irritating distraction, no longer from real life but from the display.
The second term, vamping, went viral on the web in 2014, the year in which an article in the New York Times investigated and explored the characteristics of this trend, presenting users who have this type of online habit as “social media vampires”. media», indicating the widespread practice especially among younger people of staying up all night until dawn, just like vampires, sharing posts or exchanging messages with a friend, watching videos or simply scrolling through social feeds popular media.
People with this type of habit tend to go to bed deliberately choosing not to fall asleep right away, and to stay online indefinitely. There are two main reasons for this phenomenon. On the one hand, there would be the desire to be connected and to communicate with one’s peers: the quiet of the night would be the ideal time to do so, as it allows for greater privacy and absence of interruptions, being able to stay connected for hours and hours.
On the other hand, however, there is the need to take advantage of the only free moment in the hyper-full agenda of today’s adolescents and young people who, between school or work, sports or other extra-curricular activities, in addition to studying, remain with very little time available to enjoy other types of interests or simply to socialize with other individuals away from the chaos of everyday life.
The main consequence of vamping is connected to the lack of recommended hours of sleep and the related implications that this has, as a reflection, on the boy’s life. Sleep deprivation, which can be more or less prolonged, can lead to various problems such as mood swings, irritability, but also concentration deficits and learning difficulties, also altering the individual’s decision-making capacity.
This type of practice, in fact, can cause damage to the adolescent’s psychophysical development and, as can be easily understood, can also negatively affect school performance and interpersonal relationships. A fact that makes us think and worry is that obtained from a research conducted on 28,000 high school students and which highlighted the link between lack of sleep and the increase in negative feelings in young people. Those who sleep little, and badly, are more inclined to the manifestation of sadness or depression, highlighting how all this also involves an increase in risk and a greater propensity for self-harm tendencies, which in the worst case can lead to suicide.
For years, psychologists and experts have been trying to shed light on these phenomena, especially among parents, emphasizing how they must supervise their children from an early age with precise rules in terms of the use of smartphones, involving them in activities capable of attracting their interest and which allows them to personally forge new social relationships.
The battle undertaken for a conscientious use of the various devices and social networks is still at the beginning and each of us is called to do his part.