Put Down Your Phone And Go Make Real Connections

Put Down Your Phone And Go Make Real Connections

I want to remember these times for the people I'm with, not the pictures I'm posting.

In today’s day and age, it’s hard to meet people. Everyone is always so caught up in themselves that we too often shut out chances to meet other people. With relationships or friends, we often stay within our comfort zone and immediately retreat the second we feel a hint of discomfort. The truth is it’s hard to go beyond your immediate world and group of friends. I know that I do that sometimes.

We’re too scared that people will judge us or think we’re stupid that we miss out on chances to expand our outlooks and meet new people. If there is anything that has truly suffered from the younger generations abilities to interact with others, it’s relationships. I don’t know about you but I have definitely struggled trying to meet people and actually maintaining relationships pasts an initial introduction.

You walk to class and people are either looking down constantly or have headphones in their ears. You go to class and everyone sits with their friends and doesn’t interact with anyone else unless your professor forces you against your will to speak to people you don’t know. You go out to get food or to the store and the only people who actually talk to strangers are the employees. Now granted I am at fault for doing all of these things too. I know that I stick with myself when I’m alone or am attached to my friends when in a group. But the fact of the matter is this has become the social norm.

When we hang out with each other, we spend half the time scrolling through our Instagram feed or trying to take the perfect selfie with the perfect lighting. We forget about forming true and real connections with the people around us. And it only seems to be getting worse.

When you look back and think about your fondest memories, it's the days when you stayed up all night talking about random things with your best friend. It's the spontaneous trips you took with your friends. It's the times you laughed until you cried with your loved ones. It's not the countless hours you spent sitting behind a tiny screen on social media.

Social media and technology is both a blessing and a curse. One one side it does help people interact with each other in certain ways. In others, it prevents us from just having genuine conversations. We can't even go to dinner without sitting on our phones instead of actually speaking to each other.

I know that putting my phone down and focusing on relationships instead of my phone and the image I'm putting out on social media is something that I need to work on. Something that we all need to work on. I want to remember these times for the people I'm with, not the pictures I'm posting.

Cover Image Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

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The Downfall Of Technology As Told By Black Mirror

"Before this obsession, when we had conversations, remember?"

Technology. Technology surrounds us daily as we interact with friends, co-workers, family members, etc. Through the access of phone calls, FaceTime, Skype video calls and social media. While the recent updates to technology over the last decade have improved drastically, the effects technology leaves on millennials today has become overwhelming.

Netflix series "Black Mirror" has taken over and become a hit show. I was first shown an episode of "Black Mirror" in my Expository Writing class as a gateway to our technology unit. The series' first episode of the third season is exceptionally written. 'Nosedive' delivers the obsession society faces with technology, and the unpleasing effects.

1. Characters in the episode are always holding their phones.

Main character, Lacie Pound, is introduced in the opening scene of the episode as she goes for a morning run while looking at her phone. Nowadays, teens are glued to their electronics. I am guilty of this myself, however, I am working on minimizing my time on my phone and using social media.

Throughout this episode, it is important to note how many times the characters utilize their phones. After watching this episode several times, I reminded myself of how many times I would look at my phone in an hour, so I could minimize how much I spend time looking on apps and social media.

2. Everything is done over the phone

Between Lacie taking pictures of her everyday activities to catching up with old friend Naomi, Lacie's phone is attached at her hip, meaning she never goes anywhere without it and does everything with it. Conversation has become almost extinct whereas "rating" each other has become the new normal. After a conversation with someone or receiving a service of any kind, Lacie along with other characters rate each other. This rating could potentially raise the average number or drop based on confrontation.

I've noticed this more and more as I was in high school. Students were on their phones so much It had gotten to the point where teachers needed to apply a "phone jail" to their class rules. Students used their phones for everything during a school day, from school work, pleasure, etc. which I find rather unsettling.

3. High ratings correlate to high self-esteem

After several conversations with various people, Lacie's rating continues to increase, therefore allowing her confidence to become apparent. Much like today's use of social media, the more 'likes' and 'followers' we have, the more popular and likable we are, which is a false and disturbing misconception.

4. Low ratings = limited to no privileges

If the character's ratings continue to decline, it becomes difficult for them to purchase houses, find sponsorship, etc. Ultimately, the show depicts a high standard for its people and if the characters don't live up to that standard, privileges are slowly taken away. In my opinion this is cruel, but accurately paints a picture of how millennials act towards their profiles on social media.

5. Social media takes over your life

Time after time Lacie's average rate dropped so low that the fight to bring it back up was impossible. She cared so much of how others viewed her that she tried too hard and wound up bringing her rate down significantly with every penalty faced. It had gotten so low to the point she became mentally insane, threatening people with knives who did not rate her a good score.

While I myself use social media for fun, I do not let the amount of 'likes,' 'followers,' or 'comments' define who I am as a person. I believe all millennials should take this into consideration and not rely on social media for confidence.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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5 Reasons Why Us Millennials Wouldn't Survive 5 Minutes Without Google, If Even That

I probably wouldn't have passed 8th grade.

Its the year 2018. We have Siri to tell us basic math problems, Alexa the dot to play music for us or give a weather recap, and any other "problems" that arise in our everyday lives, we simply just turn to Google. Back in the dinosaur age, before there were cell phones, Google, and crazy technology, people will tell you life was much simpler, well I disagree. I'd like to think life was just plain, boring!

We have become so accustomed to a life with Google, I have compiled a list of 5 reasons why I don't think I would even make it through a day without it — and that is scary and amazing all in itself.

1. We wouldn't know how to go anywhere

A paper map? What is that? Just use Google Maps, I can put in any address and get real-time traffic, how many minutes it will take me to get there, even the mileage is all calculated out. If a paper map was my only option I would struggle to even figure out what direction North was.

2. Homework would be impossible

Personally, I need a YouTube video, Quizlet, and an example problem just to figure out how to do my math homework. I probably would not have made it passed the 8th grade if it wasn't for Google's homework help.

3. Encyclopedia who?

Writing a paper, or inquiring any fact really would involve taking a trip to the library, finding the book needed, flipping to the page, etc. You get it, it would be an incredibly lengthy process just to find out a simple fact that Google can tell you in seconds.

4. Events and activities would be pretty much nonexistent

Have you been to a concert, ran a 5K, enjoyed a dinner special, or gone to a farmers market lately? Technology was most likely the way you found out about the event. It was shared, tweeted, texted, or you searched about it! In other words, we would have no life if it wasn't for Google.

5. We wouldn't know that people are eating Tide Pods

Okay so maybe this isn't the most important news headline... but my point is, news and trends would not be available in the ways they are now, and it would take much longer to get to us. The news could even be outdated or irrelevant if it is not delivered in time, gasp!!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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