A Crisis Of Disconnect

A Crisis Of Disconnect

“'Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.'” So does every occasion call for the presence of a cellphone?
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One of the quintessential aspects of secondary education that many students form their social life around, while others engage in moderately when the occasion calls for it - is the party. As a college student, I fall under the latter: one who rarely engages in social interaction offered from parties. Nonetheless, when I decide to partake in such festivities, I mentally enforce the goal of taking advantage of frivolous endeavors in order to metaphorically shake off the stresses, worries, and tasks of my everyday life.

Social gatherings of this sort are intended to stand as a celebratory engagement of connectedness. Connecting through music, be it through dancing and "vibing" with complete strangers and usually with limited conversation due to the drowned out voices amid excessive music.

However, with the dependence of devices such as smartphones at our disposal, it is often too easy for young people to neglect the chance at forming human relationships and creating moments, even if only briefly, as a result of the disconnection brought on from the devices meant to bring humanity closer together on a global scale.

Recently though, this notion of connectedness was lost for me among a crowd of young people during an after party at a club I was invited to following a school function. My close friend invited my sister and I to her university’s event, which was preceded by an after party at a popular downtown Cincinnati nightclub.

Though my sister and I were the only students from a different school, the chance to associate with students entirely unfamiliar to me was exciting to say the least. The opportunity presented itself for every student within the club to unite through commonalities not by the way that we look, but how we may feel surrounded by tangible joy in the faces of strangers and music blasting hits from the 90s which should have felt nostalgic for everyone.

Walking up the stairs to the loft where the dance floor was held, all I saw, unfortunately, were rows of people sitting on plush seating staring painstakingly close to their phones with the intensity of their gazes illuminated by the artificial light from their phones.

While a few people danced, myself included, everyone sat in their positions absorbed by their phones for over an hour. An hour.

For anyone who has so graciously read up to this point, hear me out.

I do not write this article to reprimand anyone who holds their smartphones or other technological devices to a devotional standard, or to sound like a stickler for living a life technology-free.

Why?

The answer is simple.

That is just not the world we live in.

Yes, technology has become a staple and almost a necessity of 21st century popular culture. However, this does not suggest that technology has done a complete disservice to society. Technology has expanded the way in which people communicate making correspondence available from our very own Cincinnati to somewhere as distant and unfamiliar as Shanghai.

Human beings now have the insurmountable advantage of learning about the world without having to step outside their doors. This is especially convenient for students like me who long to travel, but understand the limitations of travel due to monetary demands.

Still, with technology’s surplus conveniences and advantages comes the unsuspecting flaw of people becoming all too consumed with what may be happening elsewhere in the world with celebrity gossip, social media, even funny cat videos to miss the true instances in life that can hold the most significance if one is present to acknowledge them.

The message I would like to leave with the readers is this:

The human experience is vast and unpredictable. As people, we thrive off of human contact, which is what makes us a society and a multicultural existence at large. So don’t get lost in a reality that is fleeting and intangible to the feelings and experiences that life can offer, especially during moments of carefree fun and chances to engage with people you may have never been given the chance to meet before.

So put the phones away during a night out. Enjoy the company in front of you, and if a matter is so pressing that you need to pick up your phone to send a text to someone, remember what Ferris Bueller advised:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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The Power Of Journaling

Slowing down in a fast pace world.

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In a world where everything is moving so fast pace, I have found comfort in taking small moments to reflect on the blurring images around me. I have always loved to journal, but recently I have found a system that works very well for me.

One habit that I have newly formed is creating a section in my journal that I like to call "Get Out of My Head." Life moves very fast and sometimes my thoughts can't keep up. This causes stress, anxiety, sadness and even the feeling of loneliness. I have created this section in my journal to be a safe place where I can just scribble down whatever is taking over my head, but there is a trick.

Like I stated previously, I have always loved to journal, but I never found ultimate comfort in it because I would go back and read what I wanted to remove from my mind. This was causing me to reexperience what I didn't want to. I highly suggest having a place in your journal that is essentially a flame for all th4e thoughts you want to rid of.

On the contrary, have a section in your journal where you love to look. I try and fill this section with happy thoughts, quotes, verses, and gratitude. This makes journaling and reading your entries something to look forward to, rather than not.

In conclusion, journaling is unique for everyone and it takes some time to figure out exactly the right way. But once you discover the safe place that journaling can be, it can change your life forever.

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