Hidden addictions: Tethered to technology

I have 1,353 Facebook friends, 1,433 followers on Instagram, 200+ friends on Snapchat, and 300 followers on Twitter; yet, I’m lonely. What would you do with yourself if I took away your phone for a whole day?

Something I frequently ask is, “Will you please put your phone down for just one second?” This is constantly said to all those who are obsessed with checking social media, staying in the “loop” of society and constantly posting to share with the world your life experiences. In reality, why do people care about what other people think? Why is it so important to share every moment or thought with our peers? Do we really care?

Throughout life, we experience subjectivity within society, whether we know it or not. We are often unaware of how tethered we are to our phones because it is the “normal” for people because, well, it’s just what everyone else does. Due to addiction’s natural “invisibleness” and apparent obviousness, challenging our norms are like weaning off a drug.

I’m writing this to challenge you. I’m urging you to unplug from smartphones and live in the moment. Yes, the moment. Not the moment for “snapping” the concert you’re at or the boomerang you want to take to look trendy. I order you to look up from your phone, shut down the display, take in your surroundings and make the most of the day.

We live in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with each other, but really, always results in us spending more time alone. We have no idea what possibilities and opportunities are around us when we are looking down at our smart phone. When we get so caught up and worried about capturing the moment on a photo memory or post, when really is the person’s own memory that counts. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a memory is worth a lifetime story. The amount of times that it takes for you to document the moments of your life, takes away from the time that you’re actually living it. Why waste your time focusing on how many “likes” or “favorites” your post will or could get, rather than missing out, living in the moment, and enjoying it yourself? You are including while excluding yourself.

We are obsessed with the illusion we want to portray to our followers or “friends.” The illusion you want to portray as your life is more consuming than actually living. People are dependent on certain aspects, such as social media and technology, to feel as if they “fit in” and to keep up with constant updates and societal expectations. We are so worried about coming across as the person we want others to perceive us as that we forgets how to just be ourselves in the process.

While someone is posting to satisfy themselves with “favorites” or “likes” on a post and constantly checking their phone, they don’t realize they are missing out on moments that matter most. We lack communication by depending on emojis to express our emotion. People are always looking to be up to date on technology, the newest software, the best IPhone, the “emojis” to express oneself. In that time somehow people fall short of themselves, but really becoming inferior in many ways and missing out on what life truly offers. We are becoming unsocial in an expanding social society.

   Everything you do, you have the need to show or tell the world where you went, what you did, and who or what you saw. That need becomes so overwhelming that you forget to live in the moment and simply appreciate the very actual moment that happened.

Technology creates a compulsion to post, but that isn’t enough to simply experience a moment, make it your own, and to store it in the memory that matters most, your own memory. Not the phone memory. We fail to take the time to experience anything because we rush for out posting in the hopes that we get our “friends” to “like it.” Is it not enough to just enjoy the moment ourselves? It is up to us, the students, the face of the future to defy the norm. Put your cellphones away and enjoy the moment!

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Jessica Pace

I’m from Long Island, New York. I am a senior double major in Journalism and Communication Studies. I have a passion for telling people stories that are exciting and intriguing. My plans for the future is to bring you a friendly familiar face to the TV screen- as a dedicated reporter. I’ve interned with WJAR NBC10 in Providence and News 12 Long Island two summers in a row. If you see me on campus with a camera, don’t be shy! Say hi!