Here I am, sitting in the cafeteria, as I watch two guys walk in together. I keep my eyes on them and watch as they go in different directions to get food and meet back up at a table in the center of the room. As if it was instinctual, both of them immediately pull out their phones and start aimlessly tapping. Neither of them even looked up until they had both finished eating.
Are you kidding me? Is being 54 weeks deep in a girl’s Instagram so much more important than the person sitting in front of you?
I’m all for the connectivity of technology, but did you really hit up your friend to come eat with you, then sit with your eyes glued to your phone the whole time? Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of this as well, but is your Instagram feed really more interesting than face-to-face interaction? What’s the point of even being with someone anyway?
Heck, even at concerts, weddings, dances, whatever the case may be, the only thing in my direct sight is a phone screen. Like hello, I came here to see Macklemore sing with my own two eyes, not through the camera on your phone.
I’m not sure what it is, but as we’ve entered the new year, I’ve become so much more attuned to this. I’ll sit down to have dinner with a friend and find myself extremely offended when they start reading Reddit articles and scrolling through Facebook. It’s become such a social norm that I’m sure many of you don’t even notice yourself or the people around you doing this. My grandparents would argue this constant connectivity is a result of how people were raised, but to be honest, I don’t think there’s much of a correlation.
Have you ever picked up your phone to check the time, and set it back down still not knowing what time it is? You weren’t paying attention. And that’s the problem. No one is paying attention anymore. We aren’t even really paying attention to our phones. Yes, I’m talking about when you double tap, swipe up to close snapchat, and then immediately reopen it again because you’re just looking for something to occupy your time.
In the course of writing this article I’ve mindlessly picked up my phone 5 times and typed in my passcode. I couldn’t even tell you why. Phones aren’t the only problem. Laptops, iPads, tablets, video games, I mean seriously, you can’t even get an eReader now a days that doesn’t have apps or internet browsing capabilities. Yes, technology is amazing, and being able to talk to your Aunt Margaret who lives in Kentucky is great, but what about when you’re sitting right in front of someone you love and you can’t even take your eyes off your screen?
Never mind all of the statistics about relationships and the detrimental nature of being addicted to technology. You don’t need that, because you’ve seen it first hand. You don’t need cold hard facts to realize that being more in love with a video game than you are with the world around you isn’t just hurting you, but the people who love you.
I can guarantee you, if you keep your phone tucked away and out of sight while you’re talking to someone, they’ll mimic you. It’s not even a conscious decision, their brain is waiting for the okay to pick up their phone and start doing something, anything. I dare you to spend a week not constantly attached to your phone, iPad, laptop, video game, or whatever the case may be. If you can honestly tell me your personal and professional relationships have suffered, I’ll give you $100. Just kidding, no I won’t, but seriously. So, make the effort with me, if you dare.
This isn’t some sort of technology shaming article, it’s just a shout into the void from a very small voice. Maybe, just maybe, if you’ve read this far, you’ll make a conscious effort to be more engaged in your life than you are with pictures of someone else’s.