Imagine this, you walk into class on your busiest day of the week, already looking forward to the end of your day hours from now. You reach down to turn your phone on silent before class starts and it’s not there. PANIC!
Don’t lie, we’ve all done it. Our phones have turned into things that we can’t leave home without. They are not only our way of connecting with each other, but now with most phones having Internet, they have become even more useful than before. We can constantly be in contact with each other, check our emails in between classes and get back to people faster than ever before. Is this a good thing though? Is it good to always be reachable? It might not be.
We all seem to have an addiction to being available every minute of every day. While this may make us more reachable, is it making us more reliable? This is the price that comes with 24/7 availability. We’re expected to not only be available via email and text but to be available in person, and this is not always the case. People nowadays expect an instant reply which is not always possible.
Americans are constantly criticized for overworking. According to other countries, we don’t know how to relax and be without work. Even when we’re on vacation, we’re expected to have our phones on us and be accessible. We’re expected to check in after being on vacation for two days. All too often we hear things like, “I don’t want to bother you when you’re on vacation but can you just take a look at this really fast?”
Being attached to our phones is not a good habit to have and it really shouldn’t be something that we’re expected to do.
Interacting via cell phone is not the same as being able to hold a face-to-face conversation. It’s not. If we’ve gotten to the point that we’re more comfortable having a texting conversation than having one in person, we have an issue. Having the ability to text quickly will not give us any life-long skills. In reality, what are we priding ourselves on? The fact that we can say everything we need to in abbreviations? We have officially learned how to communicate with each other by using the fewest number of words and that is not something we will benefit from. Being able to have conversations with not only people our age but with older adults, younger children and future employers is extremely important. Being personable behind a computer screen means nothing.
Let’s be honest, along with the loss of real conversation in texting, the true art of sarcasm is lost as well. We’ve all experienced those texting conversations that have taken a major turn for the awkward when a sarcastic comment isn’t understood. Texting just doesn’t let us be as funny as we are… and we’re all hilarious! We should want to see people’s reactions in person as opposed to a “haha!” in a text.
While texting and emailing are definitely convenient, we cannot fall back on them as our only form of communication. We need to remember the importance of quality conversations and take time to build relationships with people in person. We’ve gotten so busy keeping up with our social media lives that we’re falling behind in our real lives. The number of “likes” we get on Facebook and Instagram should not be as big of a deal as we have made it. While they are nice little compliments, they are definitely not worth refreshing the screen for. We have fallen into the trap of believing that these things actually matter, and the farther we go, the harder it will be to come back to reality.
So, next time you realize you forgot your phone at home, just chill out.
Enjoy being unreachable for the day; it’ll be waiting for you when you get back.