I love my phone. I love to text; I love my Apps; I love my pictures; I love it all. It is a safe bet that you will never find me without my phone; it is always in reaching distance of me. I do enjoy my phone, but this is not to say I am addicted to my phone. I am perfectly capable of leaving my phone in another room or putting it away during an important class. There are many people that have grown so used to having their phone by their sides, it is almost as if their phones are their friends. People can treat phones like they treat other living, functioning humans; they can talk to them, play with them, be entertained when your bored, learn new things–absolutely anything a friend can give to you, a phone is becoming capable of doing as well.
Having said this, it makes sense that people have recently began being structured to want a phone that does more than just make a phone call. Now consumers look for phones that have more social capabilities–including access to social media, email, text–that keep them further in touch with others. As time goes on, people will grow an emotional attachment to their devices. The more capabilities a phone has, the more a person will feel a need for that phone in their life.
How does an emotional attachment to a phone change people’s relationships with each other?
With phones becoming an absolute necessity, face-to-face social interaction is already beginning to occur much less frequently. Our generation has made it acceptable to communicate in utterly informal ways. It is now common to meet with customers through the medium of skype, or conduct a phone interview rather than an in-person interview. The importance of seeing a person face-to-face is essentially diminishing. It is becoming completely standard that people are more and more dependent on their phones; in other words, it is now okay and normal to be addicted to your phone.
Along with accepting the normality of being attached to a phone comes the other argument: people are using phones at the wrong times causing a severe disconnection. It is one thing to think the frequent use of technology is normal, but to think it does not creep into your social interactions would be ignorant. People are using their phones, for whatever purpose, while they are in social settings, thus removing themselves from being attentive, engaged listeners.
We (yes, you too) must stop making technology a number one priority in our lives. Technology is a fantastic creation that allows individuals access to far greater things than one could imagine. However, there is a time and place for technology and that is not to be forgotten. I recently traveled to Aruba where I had my phone turned off for an entire seven days (I know, crazy, right?). I was the typical anxious, not-so-happy girl on the departing flight without my phone. However, it ended up being one of the best weeks, and I really believe I owe that to the fact that I was not attached to my phone for the entire vacation. I felt I was really seeing and enjoying everything around me and most importantly I felt connected to everyone I was with and met throughout my trip. Being connected with other people and the world is imperative in our society today, and that cannot deter people from still practicing adequate face-to-face interaction skills. A world without formal interactions is surely a world without aware, caring people knowing how to properly get along with each other and co-exist. So, please, stop making phones your BFFs–asimpler acquaintance will just have to do…