Today I walked to class with my phone in my backpack. With my eyes not being occupied by a screen, I noticed maybe the saddest sight. Almost every single person I passed had their neck hunched over with their eyes glued to their smartphone. I could not help myself but think how many connections an average person misses in a day due to being preoccupied with social media.
As Millennials, we are addicted to our smart devices. Bless the generation after us, they don't stand a chance. Anytime we feel alone or uncomfortable we escape to our "safe place." However, this escape is what is causing us to feel so alone even while being surrounded by common nature people. There are countless people that I follow on Instagram that I have never said a word to in person. I actually sat alone with one of my ghost Instagram friends and was too afraid to say hey. I like her pictures, she likes mine, but what if she did not recognize me and just thought I was a complete weirdo?
So, if I feel uncomfortable talking to someone that I found through social media, what is our smartphone really connecting us to? Our smartphones and social media apps connect us to the idea of a group of people. It is a great way to keep you up to date on friends and family who live across the country, and it is a great way to feel closer to your favorite actress or YouTube couple. But at what cost? While keeping us closer to people far away from us, social media apps are pulling us further away from someone you sit directly next to.
So where do we go from here? We put down the smartphone.
I know, but the only way for us to reconnect as humans is to put our technology on silent. Literally and metaphorically. As a world, we are corrupted with this idea of a perfect relationship, the perfect lifestyle, the perfect pet, the perfect body, the perfect GPA, a perfect life (#Goals). When in reality, life is far from perfect. We fear the thought of showing any signs of weakness or variability. Variability is the way humans connect, hello empathy. As a kid, I remember going out to the backyard and playing "lava" on the playset or picking up a stick and pretending it was a sword. Now kids grab an IPad and sit on the couch. They do not have to use their imagination because it is being played out in front of them. We are the only ones who can stop this zombie apocalypse of smartphone drones from happening. So, what are you going to do? Will, you put the smartphone down?