Losing Conversations, Losing Human Interaction?

In my Concepts and Creativity 1010 class, we are learning about the importance of conversation and how technology may or may not be ruining our ability to be empathetic to other people due to the lack of conversation that happens in our society. As I look around the room during the lecture, I spot a at least 5 people around me who are on their phones during a lecture about how phones are ruining conversation and communication. In the streets, on the bus, and anywhere that I go, everyone, and I mean everyone is always on their phone or computer. Nowadays humans can’t seem to live without a distraction every single second of their lives. Whether it’s scrolling through your Facebook feed, stalking your crush on Instagram, looking at food videos (me), editing a picture, or any of the infinite things you could do on your device, we can not seem to just not do anything.

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It’s as if we are afraid to just talk to someone and be social face to face, not just through a screen. It is also scary what the effect of having a screen to talk to someone through can do to people. Some people assume that because they are not talking to someone face to face, they can say anything; they can hide behind their screens. I hear about more cyber bullying and harassment on the internet more than I ever have it and it worries me for our future. But the biggest emotion I am feeling is sadness. The number of people who we could have gotten to know, the new information we could have learned, the juicy gossip we could have heard were all missed by us being on our phone all of the time for fear of not having anything to do or just being “too busy” with our online social lives.

I am definitely guilty of it too. I find myself being uncomfortable when waiting in line, or during breaks in class, or any time that allows me to sit with my thoughts. I understand the feeling of wanting something to do and the “need” to be on my phone for feeling like I need to look busy. It can be scary to sit with my thoughts and have time to think about the stressful reality of everything on my to do list. I get that, and even as I am writing this, I have found myself checking my phone several times and being sidetracked. I completely understand each individual’s “need” to be on their phones and all of the reasons for it but….we need to get off of our phones.

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atNowadays it is very difficult to do anything without the help of technology, especially now in college where even our classes rely on “Desire 2 Learn” which requires a computer for checking assignments or turning things in. It’s not easy to be off our our phone, especially when it provides so much comfort and we can avoid complicated and awkward social situations. I always struggle to not check my phone all of the time by not putting it on my desk during class or have it near me when I need to do homework, but that’s hard. Sometimes I hear my phone buzz and my heart beats a little faster wanting to know what it says on my little screen; most of the time it is so irrelevant and dumb but I still stress a little bit about it. I now have tried putting my phone on “Do Not Disturb” to make it silent which has actually made a huge difference. I don’t check my phone as frequently as I used to because I forget about it a little bit until I see my phone again and it helps me stay social. It’s so important to be off of your phone so that other people know that you are willing to talk to them face-to-face. Do you know how intimidating it is to try to talk to someone on their phone? Really scary. So if you want people to talk to you and if you want to talk to more people and be social, GET OFF OF YOUR PHONE! There can also be negative health consequences from being on your phone all of the time. If you are on your phone before bed it can make your eyes more tired in the morning and make it harder for you to fall asleep. The picture below is a picture of a man after a 15-minute cell phone call. The red and the yellow parts is the heat which is the cell phone radiation that affects your brain. Isn’t this terrifying?!

thermographichttp://emretguard.com/how-safe-is-cell.html

Even just putting it on silent makes a huge difference and at least try to be off of your phone unless you find there is no problem in friends being in a room together and not saying a single thing because everyone is on their phone….in that case, I think there is a problem with you.

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It’s impossible for everyone to not be on their phones all of the time and we will never be at a place in our society where there will be no phones which is scary but not necessarily negative. Phones and technology in general has allowed for so much more things to be done in our world and it is incredible. Phones and computers can do pretty much anything and it has made our world so much more efficient and everything can be connected by two devices on completely opposite parts of the world in an instant. That’s amazing. Phone are not always bad but it’s sad to see two friends walking besides each other on their phone or a couple sitting across from each other not talking and just being distracted by the media. Let’s all try to be a little more social, not through our screens, but actually social through face-to-face conversations that makes us nervous, excited, confused, happy, and all of the human emotions necessary for us to truly be connected to each other.

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