I used to text constantly. I was that kid — I half-listened when people talked to me and made so many of my friends annoyed when they had to ask me a question three times before I’d respond. But it was okay, I thought, because I was connecting with someone else. What’s the harm in having a conversation with someone you care about? I didn’t even think about how they might feel, how annoying I must have been from their perspective. It wasn’t until I was in their shoes that I truly realized what I’d been doing for so long, and was forced to see everything I’d been missing.
Have you ever tried to talk to someone who is texting someone else? It’s pretty much impossible, not to mention it sucks. Technology is good for so many things, don’t get me wrong, but it also sometimes brings out the worst in us, or keeps us from experiencing life. I’ve been noticing people being so reliant on technology more and more, so much so that they forget what they’re actually doing in real life. We get so wrapped up in the virtual world that we forget to acknowledge the people and things that are right in front of us.
Sure, texting provides revolutionarily easy access to people from all around the world at the click of a button. I used to be the worst culprit of constantly texting my high school boyfriend while I was with my friends and completely ignoring them in order to do so. Texting is great, but when you have an actual real live person in front of you, you might want to lay off a bit. I didn’t realize how annoying a serial texter could be until I wasn’t one, but now I’m definitely an advocate for leaving texting until you’re not supposed to be spending time with other people.
Snapchat is arguably even worse. I don’t think I’ve been to a single social event since the app was invented that wasn’t full of people taking snap stories, so concerned with making it look like they’re having a good time on their night out that it doesn’t really matter if that’s actually the case. It’s gotten to the point that if someone doesn’t have an elaborate and detailed snap story narrating the phases of their Saturday night, people assume they stayed in alone. Social media is the same way because let's face it — if you didn’t Instagram it, did it even happen?
We all do all of these things, and it’s unrealistic to think that any of it is going to stop anytime soon. Technology has become a huge part of our lives, that’s a fact — a fact that’s only going to increase over the years, undoubtedly. But if we are aware of it, maybe once in awhile we can put down the phone and look at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, or the concert that we spent all your savings to get great seats for, with our eyes and not through our tiny iPhone screens. When you go out to coffee to catch up with your friend you haven’t seen in a few weeks, keep your phone in your pocket so texts from the guy you’ve been seeing won’t distract you. If we can, at least, be more conscious of the barriers technology puts up between us and the world around us, maybe we can knock down a few at a time.