OK, don't get me wrong. I absolutely love technology. Having access to a worldwide web of information at the tip of my fingers isn't something I can sit here and complain about. Being able to interact and communicate with people far, far away is pretty awesome too. As the world continues to digitalize, technology continues to blow my mind. However, sometimes, I just miss the simple things in life.
When was the last time you walked into a classroom and people weren't just glued to their phones?
When was the last time you genuinely enjoyed a moment without feeling the need to pull out your phone and record it?
When was the last time you could go an entire day, or even an hour, without the urge to check your phone?
It's pretty remarkable how attached we are to our devices for instant gratification. Someone could be right in front of you and it could be the perfect opportunity for a great conversation. But, as soon as there is silence or an awkward pause, you feel the need to quickly pull out your phone and check up on your notifications.
Is it that necessary? Or, do we just need to do because we are so used to it and it's such a convenient way to avoid further awkwardness?
Following are six scenarios in life in which technology just ruins the simple things. And I've been guilty of all these situations. We all have! And for most of us, we feel helpless because technology has taken over our lives. There's no practical way of avoiding it, hence, we all play along. But deep down, we're all aware of the weird distance that technology has created between us, and it sucks.
1. Having a conversation with our phones interrupting
We'll be having a meal, but your phone is on the table (even if it is face down). Regardless, the mere presence of the phone sends the message that your phone is a bigger priority at the moment and a go-to backup, so unless the conversation keeps you entertained, you will resort to your phone. You can't seem to have an entire conversation without referencing something on your phone, or just pressing it one more time to check the time.
2. Walking into a class or a bus, but no one looks up
You walk into class and sit down, and immediately pull out your phone. Why? Because everyone else is. No one seems to be talking. Everyone either has their headphones in or is busy on Facebook or iMessage. I mean, why bother talking at a party when everyone can just sit in silence and stare at their phones right! Isn't that ridiculous? The whole point of social media is to communicate with those who are far away when necessary. But, by no means is social media is not a substitute for real-time interaction. These are real people who you could get to know! But nope, texting on your phone is far more convenient than making the effort to meet someone new.
3. Feeling the need to snapshot everything
You feel like you have a responsibility of letting people know what you are doing and where you are at any given time you do something exciting. When was the last time you had a meal without needing to take a picture? Or went to an awesome concert without watching it all through a tiny screen? Social media has really got you thinking that everything amazing in your life needs to be shared with the world. In fact, it's gotten to the point where you do cool things just to post them online...which brings me to my next point.
4. Using social media for validation
Social media, especially Instagram, is filled with pictures of everyone highlighting their best lives. Their best selfies, their popular group of friends, and great memories.
Because if people don't see it, was it really a great memory?
Was the event really worth attending?
Was it worth having so much fun?
While it's great to showcase and share moments with others, people are too caught up in getting likes and seeking validation. As if one like equates to one's approval of your "cool" factor. It's so easy to get on social media and feel depressed because people forget that it only portrays the best versions of people. You don't see the duller, sadder, and boring parts of their life because no one puts that online, including you.
5. Not being able to live without your phone
Seriously, you don't realize how much importance you've placed on your phone until its battery dies or you lose it. When it comes to completing tasks and assignments, technology becomes a huge distraction and temptation, much to the disappointment of your struggling work ethic. Whether you are just sitting bored or you're trying to get work done, you can't help but just go on your phone and look through your notifications, even if there's nothing new or anything relevant to you. You just do it, for instant gratification.
6. Feeling an overload of information
The Internet gives us unlimited access to information and knowledge. Answers to almost any question are available at the tip of our fingers, and it's great. Yet, when people filter their sources in accord with their biases, our knowledge becomes skewed and possibly, flawed. Before the Internet, people relied on books, newspapers, and discussion for information. Now, everything is available instantly and anyone can post anything online, whether it's real or fake. Information becomes more unreliable, and people don't have anything stopping them from starting up instant debates and discussions online even if their evidence is baseless and untrue.
To be honest, it's not even the fault of technology. It has so much potential. It's the potential we cannot handle. We are so mesmerized by it that we start to take the simple things in life for granted. Maybe it's just human nature and we can't help but be tempted. Or maybe, we're just making excuses because we can't resist temptation.