|Image of Pavlov from Nobelprize.org|
Over and over again I've noticed how people seem to be unable to stop themselves from checking their phone whenever they hear a familiar beep, ring, song, or sound effect. We even customize them to different contacts. One person I know has a submarine alarm klaxon for his wife's ringtone. Make of it what you will. She knows about it and is ok with it!
Often in class a chime or buzz will indicate a new text message and the student, regardless of what is happening in the classroom, is driven with a lemming-like force to at least look at their phone. It's as if they can't help themselves. It is such a conditioned part of their psyche that it never occurs to them that this is rude or inappropriate.
|A Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson, accessed at TLE Travels.|
We're good at it. The brain can process up to four times as much info as the ears can take in. And we learn to automatically respond to a signal without even thinking about what we are doing. Now we have these wonderful smart phones to bring this conditioning into every part of our life, rudely or not. Consciously or not. Willingly or not!
Apparently I'm not the only one feeling this way. Another blogger makes a similar post. She also points out that we are so conditioned to interact and respond to our smart devices, that we fail to respond personally to people. She is feeling so connectd with her phone that she is disconnect personally. If you've ever watched the Disney-Pixar movie, WALL E, you can see where this conditioning (and lack of physical conditioning) could take us!