So you’re walking to class one day, letting your thoughts run free for once outside of books, classes and the seemingly endless to-do list that you have planned for the rest of the day. Your friend meets up with you and you start chitchatting about your lives as you walk in the same general direction. Next thing you know, you feel that familiar vibration in your pocket. No, it’s not that hidden piece of merchandise you carry around; it’s your handy dandy cell phone.
My question is this: what do you do when the cell phone goes off? Without any hesitation, I’m sure you just think to yourself, "pick it up and see who it is." I wish you had paused to think about it before you answered though. Because nobody does that anymore; nobody ignores their cell phones, even when they’re already in the company of friends. And that, my friends, is a sad fact.
Too many people these days are consumed by technology. I’m a victim of it myself. I catch myself texting someone, only half-listening to the person walking with me. I’ll even text someone I see every single day while talking to someone I see maybe once a week. How ridiculous is that?
I’m not bashing today’s advanced technology; anyone who knows me is aware that I embrace it with open arms. Find me on Twitter, Facebook or Myspace and you won’t question it. All I’m saying is that people shouldn’t take for granted the time they have with people face-to-face. I understand everyone has a busy life and it’s important to stay in contact with people in case they need you. But guess what? Somebody doesn’t always need you every second of the day. Stop hiding behind technology. Leave your iPod in your room when you walk to class sometime and catch up with a friend instead. When you see someone familiar, wave to them and stop to have a conversation if you have time. Don’t hide behind your cell phone to avoid the moment. No matter how advanced technology gets, it will never be better than person-to-person contact.
My advice to you is this: take a break from the technological world for a day. Or even half a day, if an entire one is just a completely incredulous idea. Sign off AIM and don’t bring your laptop to class. Use an old-fashioned notebook and pen. Listen to what your professors say at the beginning of every semester and actually turn your cell phone off instead of putting it on vibrate. And when you’re with friends, talk to them and only them. Try fully listening, too. They’ll appreciate you so much more when they don’t have to repeat the same sentence three times.