For Heaven's Sake, People, Put Down Your Phone

For Heaven's Sake, People, Put Down Your Phone

Is scrolling through your Twitter feed really more important than the person sitting across the table from you?

A couple weeks ago, I was sitting in traffic on my way home from work (yay for living in Atlanta). I was just minding my own business, enjoying my jam session to Taylor Swift, when I looked to my right and noticed something.

There was a couple, seemingly married, sitting at a table outside a local restaurant. The weather was great, perfect for an evening out. Their dog was chilling out underneath the table as they casually sipped on some sweet tea. It looked like the picture-perfect date night.

Except for one thing.

They were both on their phones.

I sat at the red light next to the restaurant for two or three rotations. Not once during those few minutes did this couple even look up at each other, much less actually put their phones down. In fact, I don’t recall seeing them even talk to each other. They just sat there in silence, seeming perfectly content with staring at a screen instead of engaging with each other.

I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t seem right to me.

When did it become acceptable to pay more attention to your phone than to your dinner date?

I remembered the time I went out with a new guy during freshman year of college. It was our first date, so you’d think it'd be common courtesy to be pretty attentive, but no, not this guy. He walked in the door talking on his phone. He scrolled through social media while we waited in line to order, barely taking the time to look up. He was texting other people throughout the entire meal, and in between texts, he was browsing through Twitter. I cut the dinner short and made up an excuse to leave because I was so annoyed.

Unfortunately, I’m sure that guy isn’t the only one who’s ever done that. I know I’m guilty of the same thing. Maybe not on a date, but I know I’ve done that in plenty of other scenarios.

I recently went out to dinner with my family. At one point during the meal, my mom pointed out that she, my dad, my brother, my sister, my sister's boyfriend and I were all looking at our phones and no one was talking. We all looked up and kind of laughed, but the more I thought about it, the sadder I became that this situation has become a societal norm.

Our phones have become our crutch. Whenever there’s silence, we pick up the phone and start scrolling, searching for anything that will rescue us from even the slightest ounce of discomfort.

But in our efforts to avoid that awkward silence, we are putting up a wall. We are letting a three-by-six inch aluminum block keep us from meaningful conversation, from laughter, vulnerability and from quality time with the people we really care about. So you may think you’re just checking your social media, but in reality, you’re doing a lot more than that. And is that really what you want?

According to Pacific Standard Magazine, " Newly published research suggests that the mere presence of a cell phone or smartphone can lessen the quality of an in-person conversation, lowering the amount of empathy that is exchanged between friends.”

The article goes on to say that if your phone is visible at all, your attention is divided, regardless of whether or not you’re even looking at the phone.

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things in the world is getting to sit down and talk with my friends and family. I love hearing about their lives: their goals and their dreams. I love to laugh with them and ask them questions. I try to do whatever I can to make the most of the time I have with each person, because I want them to know they matter to me. The last thing I want to do is make them think I’m distracted or that whatever is happening on Twitter or Snapchat is more important to me than they are. But whenever I pickup my phone to check it in the middle of lunch, that's exactly what I’m communicating, whether it’s true or not.

All of that is to say, what would it look like if we put our phones away? Even just for an hour while you’re having coffee with a friend or dinner with your parents. How could our relationships grow and benefit if we removed this common distraction and were fully present in our conversations? What would happen if we focused on speaking instead of scrolling?

So, next time you’re out with your friend, your family, your coworker or whoever else, please, for heaven’s sake, put away your phone. Be present. Be attentive. Be free of distractions. Sure, some of your friends’ Insta-stories might expire while your phone is in your pocket, but the investment you’re making in your relationships will last a lifetime.

Cover Image Credit: Kaleigh Newby

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A Month Later: Is The iPhone X Worth It?

Is this smartphone is enough to fill your daily needs?

Apple introduced yet again another beautiful piece of technology earlier this fall, the iPhone X. It sparked controversy all over the globe for its rough price of $1,000 and some customers even complained about the fact that they took away the popular home button.

Though the real question is, Was it worth it?

Yes, indeed it is.

First things first, the price tag

For that price, you get twice as better capabilities than any other device that is out. In my opinion, it was pretty unnecessary to release the iPhone 8 when Apple could've gone straight towards the 10 as it was the 10th year anniversary of the first iPhone this year. They didn't though, but hey who can blame them, its business. As a worldwide billion company, they have to do some risky business decisions in order to succeed in a certain way.

Regardless, the iPhone X (10) exceeded expectations. In fact, I at first wasn't too balls to the wall over this device...even as a huge Apple fan and loyal to the company but mainly because of the home button choice and its design. After a while, I was thoroughly amazed by how powerful the phone was. It didn't matter if it was 256gb or beyond that, everything from its small processor and battery were strong to keep the phone alive for it to work really well.

Design is key

The front screen has a smooth, rich but thin glass covered from all angles with just a simple notch on the mid top that is what detects the motion sensors for the face recognition.

Another thing, face recognition. Introduced for the first time for Apple devices, in reality only for the iPhone X but man, I think of it as some magic from the future. Kind of does seem like technology is upgraded enough that face recognition came early, in the year 2017.

The screen is a 5.8 -inch Retina display that inherits gracious colors to your eyes and responds to absolutely everything. It is the first to have an OLED Screen with 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio. The top mid notch is where the front cameras are hidden, so tiny yet they take the most in-depth stunning pictures, featuring Portrait light mode. The back part of the phone has stainless steel as well.

Welcome to the evolution of a new generation of smart technology

iPhone X evolves into a new generation of smartphone devices and is the start of a new one. Wireless charging came out of the blue for the first time ever for Apple including a few other standout features I was surprised at. Face I.D. Apple Pay, faster 12mp sensor, OIS camera on the back portion of the phone. One last thing that really blew me away was their A11 Bionic chip. It has a quite heavy engine with 600 billion operations per second. Which in this case proves itself to be the fastest, bright, forceful smartphone in the last decade.

What all this means for the competition

Apple is raising the bar, Samsung. Worth the price for all it is able to do. You won't be disappointed with the result. It works perfectly fine with your daily usage of the Health app, loud music through their Bluetooth AirPods, dictates every inch of your heart rate as it has before but better, and workout progress. Every other feature from the Notes to the new advanced App Store compatible with iOS 11.2 is just brilliant than ever before.

Cover Image Credit: Wired

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Itz Not Ok 2 Type Lyke Dis All Da Tyme LOL :)

Is texting ruining the English language??

Texting in the 21st century has brought about many shortcuts in our communication with others in order to save time, type faster, and of course, for the sake of being lazy. However, I cannot emphasize the significance of typing the full word out in writing to other people, even if it is your best friend. These habits can carry over to important conversations that might risk your opportunity to thrive in the real world. Is text messaging ultimately ruining English?

Sayings such as: OMG, LOL, BRB, SMH, and WTH are commonly used in everyday texting. Young people are increasingly prone to texting and shy away from making calls, which is a more direct but less permanent form of communication.

Ironically, the speed at which instant messaging or texting takes place means that mistakes and shorthands are common, but we often let each other get away with them because we know what they mean.

Texting is also developing its own kind of grammar.

Take LOL, for example. It doesn’t actually mean “laughing out loud” in a literal sense anymore. LOL has evolved into something much subtler and sophisticated, and is used even when nothing is remotely amusing. Did you actually laugh? Probably not. Maybe you did? It depends what the conversation is, but most of the time it's a space filler. It eases tension and creates a sense of equality. Instead of having a literal meaning, it conveys an attitude.

Writing "lyke dis" reduces the need for in depth conversations, and distracts us from being fully present around other people. It would take more time to write out words in their no-longer-natural form than to spell them correctly anyways.

All in all, a few shortcuts here and there are okay. If used too much, too often, though, it'll become a habit of not being able to communicate with others outside of the texting world. Practicing outside of the classroom on technology will help you in the end if you're taking an English class as well.

Cover Image Credit: Candace Jones

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