After a discussion in my English class, I was stuck in a bubble of self-awareness. We were talking about a recent film we watched as a class and the academic integrity of the class. While many of us showed up to the screening, not everyone was mentally there. For some reason, this triggered me to reflect on my self-awareness. Silence and social responsibilities were two overwhelming themes of the film. Our conversation regarding silence remained in the back of my mind even after that class ended.
Recently, I have noticed the unreasonable amount of times I have picked up my phone, to glance at the time as if it goes by any faster the more times I check, to check for any notifications as if there is so much happening. With the new update on the iPhone, you can track how many times you've picked up your phone, the apps you use the most, and time spent on your phone. My average daily stats consisted of 5.4 hours spent on my phone, 365 pickups, and around 639 notifications. I also noticed that the number of pickups within a short period of time was unnecessary. There were 45 pickups within one hour- the hour in which I was eating with my friends. While I'd think that I am a social person, I think this habit revealed otherwise.
I realized that, often times, when the conversation ran dry and there was a silence, we would all turn to our phones and peek at the time. I thought to myself, why do I feel so uncomfortable during silence? I figured that this was the adapted reflex to our discomfort from silence. For some reason, when it gets silent, I just feel awkward and sense of urgency to keep the conversation going. Why do I feel a strong need to break the silence?
I strongly believe that the sense of urgency was derived from my time on my phone. The nature of social media and technology has greatly affected the social aspects of my life. When I am laying in bed, I feel like I should be doing something and that something should be happening. When there isn't, I turn to my phone because I know if I just hop onto Snapchat or Instagram, there will be a new post and something will be happening.
Although time does not stop, there is now always a sense of urgency to stay in movement- in my conversations or life in general. These days, we live in a world that is constantly in movement, across every social media. Every refresh on Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat brings up new posts and there is never a dull dead moment. Due to this, I think the new generation of adults will have a harder time confronting silence.
While the habit of speaking up during silence is not bad when it comes to protests and fighting against injustice, the awkward silences will reveal a side of anti-socialness that we never knew we had.