To all the people who don't live on their phones

To all the people who don't live on their phones

You're not alone.


Are you ever with a group of people, even people you are very close to, and you look up and all of them are on their phones? Or maybe you're behind in the conversation because you missed a snap or a post everyone is talking about? Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with someone, and they are scrolling through Instagram only half-listening to you, and when you finish what you're saying they look up and ask what you said?

We live in a world of automation. Everything is at our fingertips. Why talk to your friend when you can have a conversation with billions of people over social media? Why talk to the person taking your coffee order when you can just tap a few buttons and have it ready on a shelf near the door? Everything is faster, more convenient, more entertaining.

But what we gain in efficiency we lose in other aspects of our life. Face-to-face communication is constituted of a series of snap chats. No one knows your order; there's no more putting a face to a coffee. No one knows anyone anymore. It's debatable whether we even know the people closest to us.

And getting on board with these changes is not a choice. It's a must. To keep up with your friends and family you too have to put our lives online. How else would anyone know where you're going to college, or who you're dating now? If you don't have social media, what are you doing? Is there something seriously wrong with you? Are you one of those people who is doing the whole living-off-the-grid thing?

We even risk offending people; not being constantly on your phone is grounds for rudeness. If you don't respond quickly enough, people will assume you don't like them or that you're not interested. Popularity isn't how many people you know but how many followers you have; it isn't how many people like you but how many likes you can get on your over-edited picture.

There aresome positive aspects to technology. Social media allows us to connect with people around us or people who we aren't in close proximity to. Facetime and skype allows us to see people we don't see every day and we can communicate our feelings to our friends in a series of funny gifs. I also won't deny that I love the Dunkin Donuts Perks App just as much as the next girl. But it's when online connection starts replacing real life encounters that I wish we were a little quicker to draw the line.

Most days, I wish I lived in a world in which there was no technology, in which no one had a phone to hide behind. I wish everyone would just talk to me instead of to all the friends they have to text over the phone. I wish I could hear people's voices over the phones instead of read their texts; I wish phones were tethered to the wall instead of stowed in our pockets. I wish people would write letters to me when they had something important to say. I treasure all the letters anyone has ever written me.

I'm scared we are going to become too out of touch with the world around us. We're already in the process of transferring everything online; soon there will be nothing left. There are real problems happening around us and we have to lift our heads often enough to see what they actually are.

I'm scared that we'll not only lose touch with the world around us but also with our loved ones and even ourselves. We spend more time on our phones in a day than we do talking to our friends or family, even though we live with them. We put false representations of ourselves on social media in hopes of deceiving people around us that we lead perfect lives and let ourselves believe that everyone else is perfect, too.

I'm scared for my relationships and how others perceive me for not wanting to follow the way of the world today. I'm scared for where technology is going and where it will bring us. But above all, I'm scared that we're too far gone.

So when you can, talk to your friends. Order in the store instead of on your app. Call your mom instead of texting her. Seek connection in everyday life, seek life through little ways. Hold the door for people and smile at them when you can. Hold onto laughter and the moments that you feel alive, because those are moments you never find in your phone.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments