“Come over to the city and let’s catch up!”
Well, when you are one special person in my life, I would not hesitate to drive an hour and a half going to the city. Why? Because spending quality time with friends and special persons is my second love language.
Though I missed those days when smartphones are not the most essential thing in everyone’s lives. Today, as we dine in restaurants or hangout at coffee shops, all I see are groups of people gathered around one table but each one is engrossed into the glowing screens of his/her smartphones. I turned my attention to the other table and I see a family waiting for their food, no conversations – just smartphones.
It is sad to see how a small glowing screen can steal away precious opportunities to connect with real people in front of you. Not with the virtual sh*t that creates communication gaps among members of the family. I hate what I am seeing. I hate how friendships and relationships become just another instagrammable-worthy shot without real foundation. Just empty, chic, and cool photos with many likes.
All photos, all “day stories”, but never a single sensible conversation.
The idea of dining out / chillin’ out when food is served, instead of saying grace first for all the blessings, everyone shall painstakingly take IG boomerang and burst shots. So that every virtual online “friend” (whom you don’t really talk to or greet at school) will see how cool and how fancy your group hangouts are. After the photoshoot, dive into the food without saying grace.
I hate seeing couples sitting close together, but never talking – just scrolling out what’s new with other people’s lives. What a waste of time, what a waste of life.
The problem with today’s dependence and addiction to smartphones is not the device itself. It is how humans make it as the most indispensable thing in their body. It becomes a part of their body. Without it, humans cannot function properly. He can neither solve a simple math problem (i.e., how much should be his change when buying in a store) without the use of his phone’s calculator or take notes in class without a phone (while you can use actual pen and paper). You see, the dependence makes us dumb.
You will know that you are addicted to your phone when you have the “twitch” which becomes a natural reflex that you suddenly check on your phone from time to time. To check on whether someone liked your photo or commented on your post. To check on whether you received any notification. Or whatever that you do on social media. Twitching is an indication that you have made your phones an extension of your body. Your hand feels itchy when it is not holding your device. Or you suddenly panic when you felt your phone is not in your pocket. It is really an awful feeling to be addicted to something.
The last time I went out with my girls, I was quite insulted by their frequent and incessant use of phones. To the extent that when we exchange stories, they keep on asking me to repeat because they were chatting with another person virtually.
It’s not that I am hungry for attention. I just do not like “killing time”. Well, if you want to kill time, at least don’t drag me into it because I want to make the time worthwhile. The entire afternoon went by and the only thing I remembered was the picture of them on their phones. We went to a coffee shop and shared silence and their face glowing with small screens.
I would like to pose a challenge to you today. For just two hours today, could you try to turn off your phone and keep it somewhere you can’t see – out of your sight. Just see what happens and see what possible feelings it would create for you when you live just for two hours without your smartphone. Just carry on with your normal daily routine, and start a face to face conversation with a friend, family member, or someone.
Or on your next dinner date with your family or friends, or your significant other, put your phone on silent mode, and keep it inside your bag or better leave it home just for dinner. Pay attention to your conversations and see what happens.
Then share your story with me please, I would love to hear your realizations!