Not too long ago, I watched this brilliant video titled “Phone Crack” (produced by JK Films) and, while funny and all, it got me thinking about how today’s youth- people in general- are just so damn reliant on their cellphones.
It really bothers me that, wherever I go- coffee shops, movie theaters, even airplanes!- people are always on their phones. Checking emails, FB updates, playing Candy Crush or 2048, doing I-don’t-know-what.
Granted, I suppose it’s justifiable if you’re doing so while in queue for your Starbucks latte or just passing the time. I admit, being bored does suck.
But when you’re with friends or with company, looking at your phone is not acceptable. Just…NO. Don’t.
Take this: imagine that you meet up with a friend, who you haven’t seen in years, for lunch and some drinks. To be in each other’s company, let’s put it that way. You sit down, order, and ask each other, “So how have you been?” “I’ve been good, you?” “I’m good.” An awkward minute or two passes by. Then, you take out your phones to check emails.
What is this? Just because you run out of things to talk about (which at this point I’m very surprised), you can’t default to looking at your phone. Unless you’re using it to find other conversation topics…okay? But really, that’s pathetic.
Another scenario: you’re telling said friend an anecdote that happened to you a while ago, and that you found incredibly hilarious and epic to share (again, you two haven’t seen each other in a long time). But as you’re recounting the incident, your friend is on her phone, checking her FB for the second, third time since you arrived at the restaurant. Occasionally, she briefly looks up to acknowledge that she’s “listening,” peppered in with some “mmhm’s” and “yeah’s” to show that she “hears” you.
Again, what?? Doesn’t this seem kind of…rude? Inconsiderate? At least for me, if I were the one telling the story, I would feel rather…worthless. As if my presence, let alone the whole lunch date, isn’t valuable enough for said friend.
I believe that this is where the art of conversation has truly gone to shit. We don’t talk anymore; we just communicate via keyboards, instant messaging, emails. Sometimes, there’s no effort put into our messages. It really irks me that some people have the nerve to respond with “K,” in place of “okay” or even just “ok.” Really? Is it that much more effort to hit the “o” key to write “ok?”
And it’s not just the youth who are doing it; it’s the adults, too.
Take my dad: granted, I love him, but he frequently drives me up the wall with his crack-like addiction to technology. Especially with his phone. Seriously, he checks his email every five minutes every day, just to see if anyone from his office has sent him anything. Even when it’s on the weekend, when no one wants to work.
We will be at a restaurant– him, my mom, me, and my sister– having “family time” and also enjoying good food. But once we enter the restaurant and finish ordering, he whips out his cellphone! The rest of us gives him so much smack about it, but it can’t be helped. He’s addicted.
But enough of the anecdotes (at this point, I’m assuming you’re already bored with this article and checking your phone, too). Using your phone can also be unsafe. Dangerous even.
Ever heard of the “Don’t Text and Drive” slogan? There’s a good reason why it exists. Too many people on the road do just the opposite, checking their phones at every stoplight and even sending texts while going 30 to 40 mph! It’s crazy. And- shocker!- car accidents happen because of this.
For me, my phone is not a priority. When I’m driving, I keep it in my bag and wait until I arrive at my destination to check it. When I’m out with a friend, I leave it in my bag as well (so does my friend), and surprisingly, we never run out of things to talk about in our two to three hours together. Amazing, isn’t it? For the rest of the time when I’m not out doing something, I turn it off. Completely off.
Personally, I actually prefer using my laptop over my phone. While you can’t call people on the computer (well, except maybe Skype), it is definitely easier to navigate pages and type without having to hunch over and really concentrate on hitting the touch-screen keys. Then again, though, maybe I’m just an old fogey.
So I know that this post is kind of rambling and all over the place, but really, the message is simple: in certain situations, just take your eyes (and hands/fingers) off of your freakin’ phone and just TALK!
– The Finicky Cynic