In this day and age, we tend to live on our phone more than in the moment. Is it that difficult to unplug or do we just choose not to? A couple of weeks ago, I went to a concert and I was shocked at how many phones were out the entire (or almost entire) show. Everywhere I looked, people were Snapchatting non-stop. Ok, I get it. You want to share your experience, but the entire concert? What happened to going to a concert and singing and dancing and drinking so much that you had to use the bathroom and miss your favourite song being sung?!
I have had so many instances where people around me are addicted to their phones to the point that they zone out on real life. What I have realized is this; I think that the power of social media is so big partly because of the need for people to please others and show off. Like, “Hey, look at me! I am so cool and having so much fun!” “My life is so cool and entertaining and I am such a fun person that you wish you could be me!” Am I too pessimistic in thinking this? I really do think there is too much of a pleasing factor here. Everyone is always trying to one up someone else, and we just can’t get enough of other peoples lives.
There are so many once in a life opportunities that people are missing out on because of not being able to unplug; I also think there is a respectful factor here too. There are some situations where pulling out your phone is just not ok!
It’s also affecting in person communication. Some people are able to fully converse via text or chatting, but once you meet them in person, they are super awkward and uncomfortable. I have noticed this particularly in the younger generation.
Let’s free our minds! When is the last time you just sat for 10 minutes to reflect on your day? How long can we be away from our phones? Is your phone on your bedside table when you sleep? Mine sure is, so I am definitely not excluded from this conversation. Is your phone on your bathroom counter when you shower? Is your phone on the table when you’re out for dinner?
Speaking of going out for dinner, I have a cousin who I had to stop going out with because of her phone obsession. We would go out about twice a month for dinner, drinks etc. and every time we went out, she would try to snapchat me secretly (I don’t have snapchat so I assume she thought it was funny to secretly do this and post it but of course I would find out right then or someone would tell me later), and have full on text conversations with other people. It was ridiculous because I took time out for her and she didn’t have the decency to respect that. If someone else is so much more important every time we go out, then why are we even hanging out? Anyways, it happened one too many times and even though she is family, I had to let her know how I felt and that I was done going out with her. Since we were kids, My dad had two rules for dinner and I have stuck by them. Rule #1 You come to the dinner table even if you aren’t hungry because this is a time to not only eat but chat about our day. Rule #2 which was later established was: No phones allowed at the dinner table.
I went to a McDonalds drive thru with my brother a couple of months ago and we waited more than 20 minutes to get to the first window. There were only about four people in front of us, so we were wondering what was taking so long. When I drove up the first window, there were two employees and they both had their phones out and were laughing at something. There was no apology on the delay, no proper greeting, nothing. One told me the total price of my food. The lack of customer service was disappointing, but the lack of decency and respect from these two young employees was much worse.
I also think our memories have gotten so much worse since smart phones came out. Remember back in the day, when we had to memorize phone numbers? When we had to do math in our head and not pull out our phone to make a simple calculation? Or know how to spell a common word without looking it up? We don’t even need to memorize directions or use a map anymore!
Phones can distract you and can even be dangerous. I mean, think about how many people who have been struck by a car because they were walking and texting or because they were playing Pokemon Go? Or how many people have died taking dangerous selfies? Google it and you will be surprised. Heck, there are even some place in the world that have banned selfies because of the danger! I mean, that is crazy! What kind of society have we become that we are risking our lives due to phones? Jeeeeeez.
What do you think? Am I being too harsh on people and their phones? Or do you agree and think that this is a huge problem in our society? I’d love to hear other opinions in this matter. Let’s discuss!