A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Put Your Phone Down!

Technology has definitely improved over the past decade. However, it has also shed some negative consequences as well. There is nothing wrong about using your smartphones, but there is a right and wrong time to use them.

“The average person spends four years looking down at their phone,” says Prince Ea, an American spoken word poet. Technology has made us more selfish and separate than ever. Smartphones are killing face-to-face conversation. Technology has basically taken over our lives, even to the point where we have forgotten how to connect with others. Some people have a hard time communicating with others face-to-face because they simply don’t know how to. Smartphones are replacing social interaction. Instead of having a face-to-face conversation, we’d rather text each other.

I’m just as guilty as the next person when it comes to social media and texting; however, I do believe that there is a right and wrong time to be on your phone. Being constantly glued to your phone isn’t necessarily healthy for your mental and social well-being.

I notice that when I’m out in public, just about every other person has a cell phone out to read text messages or check voicemails as they walk around — whether they have friends nearby or not. A group of friends could all be sitting together at dinner, but no one would be talking to one another because everyone would be reading their Twitter or Facebook page. What was once something you did in your downtime has turned into an obsession.

Smartphones force us to be antisocial, lose patience easily, and even use incorrect spelling and grammar by using abbreviations such as “gonna” or “txt” instead of “going to” and “text.”

Try putting down your phone. When you put down your phone, you can be more productive. Whether you’re in class or working, put your phone down and you’ll be surprised at how much more you can achieve. Putting down your phone can also make you more social. When you’re hanging out with your friends or your family, put down that phone! Enjoy the conversation and the company. You’ll make more memories actually being present in the moment  and engaging in conversation rather than being on your smartphone.

I feel as if we’re all so consumed by our phones and social networks, that sometimes we forget to live. When you put your phone away, you take in the world and see more clearly. You don’t think about the future, you think about now.