You probably never thought you’d see the day when a 19 year old college student in 2014 decides to turn off her iPhone and leave it in her room.
Well, I’ve done it.
As college students, we literally never put our phones down, let alone leave them in our room when we go to the bathroom. We’re constantly on social media, texting or using our laptops. Do you ever get a text from your friend saying, “Wow I’m at the gym running next to *insert name of boy/girl/ex/teacher* and his/her shorts are soooo short!”
Now, how important were those booty shorts that your friend had to tell you right then and there? If they didn’t have a cell phone and you were talking later, would they have even bothered to bring it up? Probably not.
The society we live in is obsessed with electronics. We feel anxious if we forget to bring our phone somewhere, and we can’t even keep them on silent because we won’t hear if someone texts or calls us; we might miss something important.
After Thanksgiving break, I made a decision to no longer use my phone in my classes, and to leave my phone in my room during meals in an attempt to disconnect. What I found was astonishing.
My first meal was dinner with a group of five or six friends. Once we all began eating, I noticed that every one of them was glued to their cell phone. Every. Single. One. One friend was holding his iPhone in the same hand as his fork while he ate.
I didn’t even know that was possible.
Whether it was scrolling through Instagram, Twitter or just texting, the conversations that we were having were short. I felt less important because their phones commanded all their attention. I could not tell you about anything any of them did over Thanksgiving break. And what struck me most, was both amazing and equally horrifying; I had never noticed. I had never noticed, until I decided to unplug.
By staying constantly connected, we lose something in our relationships. We already know everything that’s going on, so there’s nothing exciting to tell each other when we’re actually together. We have arguments and other serious conversations over text. Why? Because it’s easier. It’s less effort. We form relationships over social media before even meeting someone in real life. We are losing our ability to communicate with each other separate from social media.
Since that night, I have put much more effort into disconnecting from my cell phone. The trick is to train everyone else into thinking that you’re not a, “good texter”. This way, your peers won’t expect an answer to their text message. Then, you don’t have to worry that you’re missing something. If it’s truly important, they’ll call.
Not convinced? The video below might just change the way you think.
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