I’ll be the first to admit that I love my cell phone. I love my Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram apps. I love that I can text my Mom anytime that I miss her. I love that I can send my roomie memes that make me laugh. I love that I can snap my high school friends pictures of spiders that I find in the elevator. I love that I can use my phone as a buffer when I have to wait alone in Walmart. I will also admit that I probably use my phone a lot more than I should, but I feel like I have a good idea of when I need to put my phone away and be engaged in what I’m doing. Tonight I was at a campus event when a friend pointed out two girls on their phones. Once it was brought to my attention I sat and watched them while a band played only feet away from them and both girls stayed glued to their phones. One did take a picture of the band performing, but never actually stopped and looked up at them. So it got me thinking…
Dear people on your phones,
You are not that important or popular. The world is not going to stop if you break eye contact with your phone screen. An hour from now you will still be able to catch up on all that Facebook drama. An hour from now you will still be able to see that your crush has still not liked that “super adorable” new profile picture you updated. An hour from now you will still be able to see that your two notifications are indeed not from your friends, but instead it was someone posting in some lame group someone added you to. It’s disrespectful and it’s rude. I don’t want to sound hypocritical because I’m sure I’ve been guilty of looking at my phone once or twice at an inappropriate time, but you can bet that after watching you and seeing what a shame it was for you to waste your time and the time of others I will be more careful in choosing when I check my Facebook. You want to take a picture with your friends? Cool! That’s awesome! You’re like so totally popular…upload it later. You want to take a video of the great band you’re seeing? Do it and then put the phone away. Take a thirty second video and then put your phone in your pocket and experience it real time without watching it through your phone screen. Be there. Have an experience not just a video to brag about to your friends later. It’s one thing to be with your friends and you’re all hanging out and you’re all on your phones. If that’s cool with you and your friends, then that is fine. But when someone is taking the time out of their day to do something for you or with you then you should at least have the decency to put your phone away for a little while and give them your attention. If you think you are incapable of such a small request then please stay in your room or at home or wherever you reside. I understand that our generation loves technology. It really is great, but so is the world that you’re missing staring at your phone screen. I’m not suggesting that we stop using our phones, but there are some circumstances where I think we could unplug for a few minutes and actually have some real human interaction. There is a great big, beautiful world out there that we’re missing while we’re planning our future Pinterest wedding to a boy who doesn’t even know our name. I promise that life can actually happen without pictures to prove it.
So in closing let’s all be a little more mindful of how much attention and importance we give to our cell phones. Let’s look at events as an excuse to put our phones away for a second and see what is going on around us in real time. You want to take a selfie with your friends before class? DO it. You want to pass the time between classes taking a quick look at your Instagram? DO it. You want to put your phone away and listen to a band that you’ve never heard before and maybe meet someone you’ve never met or catch up with your friend to see how their first week of classes is going? Good, you get what I’m saying. Go out, have fun, and make memories with people not just your iPhone.
The girl sitting behind you