Can We Truly Live Without Our Smartphones?
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Can We Truly Live Without Our Smartphones?

The question creating a great generational divide answered.

Can We Truly Live Without Our Smartphones?
Marketing Land

The reliance on cellphones and the questions surrounding this divide many families, often along generational lines. Some would argue that we could function just fine without the handheld computers we seem to carry with us at all times. Others claim the true value in being able to contact people all over the world and to look up things on the spot. Over the past four months I feel I have become qualified to speak on this topic. I have grown up in a digital age, with a smartphone for several years. However since moving to Europe I have been without cell phone service and my phone has resigned in defeat. Even many wifi functions have given out on me, at this point it has become more of a camera than a useful tool for communication. This has allowed, or rather forced me, to see both sides of this argument.

On the one hand life can be lived without constant reliance on phones. I have had to purchase a cheap phone since my arrival. It literally only has the ability to make calls (which I pay for by the minute) and to text with old school 9 digit dial buttons. I wouldn't say going extend periods of time without checking snapchat or Instagram has been detrimental to my well being. The people I am with are in the same boat, so we don't have the distractions so common at home. I have not once felt ignored at a meal because someone was checking Twitter or texting. It's a nice feeling to be present in the moment with the people you are with. I can still call my family with the basic functionality of my disposable phone.

On the other hand, we live in a society that has become increasingly reliant on smartphones. Living without one in this world is hard sometimes. It is incredibly difficult to stay in contact with friends half a world away when you can't be reached for days at a time. I don't think people fully realize the difficulty either. We have become conditioned to expect pretty fast responses and so when the people we are trying to talk to don't respond it can be seen as rude. How can you convey to others that you literally had no wifi for the weekend. Even harder has been keeping in contact with my grandparents. My FaceTime does not work and they certainly do not know how to work theirs, so it has proved almost impossible to communicate. I never really had to deal with phone plans with minutes or the costs of long distance calls, now I have had to.

From living the realities of past phone users and also experiencing the modern world of communication I have come to appreciate the smart phone. I feel that the possibilities of communication are far greater and the resources can be useful in navigating the world around you. I do believe however that we need to still be present in the world around us. Our real lives are important and should be experienced, not just behind a screen. Talk to people in person if possible and take a few hours away from your online reality. This can be done by silencing your phone during meals or just putting it away for a few hours. However our social circles are increasing less local. We should embrace the long distance friendships we have and smartphones make that possible in unique ways.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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