When they sing “You’re The Wind Beneath My Wings,” the wind is the love you and I feel beneath our most personal needs, hopes and fears. To feel it is to fly….! But next the question becomes what exactly is this cosmic yet concrete force in the flights of our life?
Well sure, we can all think of a sacred few someones we’ve known and loved; but what about those less tangible somethings? Those things besides the people we’ve loved and who love us back?
Several things may come quickly to mind. My country. my religion. my fraternity. my sorority. my party. my team. my iPhone.
Oh, yes, yes, my friends, they’ve now demonstrated that people literally love their iPhones. To seal the deal, the “they” in this case are some of today’s behavioral scientists. And we all know when science says something is so, it must be so [like the climate, weather, and medicines they are sure are right until they’re wrong].
Still, there are lessons to be learned. Like the recent MRI study that was reported in the New York Times which demonstrates what happens when people hear and see their iPhones ringing. Their brain scans display not only the expected signs of addiction, but a firing of neurons “in the insular cortex of the brain, which is associated with feeling of love and compassion; as if they were in the presence of a girlfriend, boyfriend, or family member.”
Wow! Makes you think. Or at least feel. About how you respond to your own small, smooth digital lover tucked warmly inside your pocket or purse. Those MRI scans suggest that the smartphones now reshaping human consciousness not only provide a constant stream of rewarding texts, e-mails, and tweets, but they have also become akin to “a best friend, partner, lifelong companion.”
Speaking for myself, I’m a dumb user of my smartphone. However, those of you who are more expert will find another scientific study of immediate interest. Has to do with those 24/7 Tweets. Harvard sociologist Nicholas Christakis has tracked 2.4 million of us iPhone aficionados to conclude that our tweets express our moods at the moment, and that our moods follow a clear pattern. Are you ready for this…? “National happiness peaks around breakfast between 6AM and 9AM; falls to a low between 3 PM and 4PM; then rises to another high after dinner. Including weekends.”
I’m not sure we needed this study to prove the obvious, but then like I say I’m a rather dumb user. Still just smart enough not to take my iPhone to church, to a dinner party, or to bed. Whattabout you….?
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