If you are like most of the Oswego State campus, you lost cell phone service for several days this week. But who is to blame? Verizon, for making an apparently unstable cell tower? Mother Nature, for her outburst of rain and wind? Apple, for releasing the iPhone 5? Okay, maybe that last one is just a coincidence. Regardless, we really should be blaming society for making us addicted to our cell phones.
Between text messages, e-mail, social networks, the Internet or even just making an ordinary phone call, college students are always on their phones. Whether you already knew this or if it took 48 hours of questionable service for you to catch on, chances are you were a lot like us in The Oswegonian office: turning airplane mode on and off, yelling obscenities at your phone, even throwing it repeatedly, yet nothing would work.
Instead of using the opportunity to take out all of our pent-up rage and aggression on an inanimate object, instead we should be learning how to live without these devices. The next time that your service inevitably disappears, just say “forget it” and turn your phone off. If you need to speak with someone, go to where they live and find them, as creepy as that may be. If you need to check your e-mail, use your computer. If you need to use the bathroom, bring a book instead, or maybe even a copy of The Oswegonian. Or you could even bring some of that fun reading for class that you have been avoiding.
While it is nice to take advantage of the technology that is available to us, we should try to avoid becoming addicted. Cell phones, laptops and mp3 players all did not exist at one time and people survived—for the most part. Channel your inner 18th century farmer and learn to get along in life without the need for technology.
You could become a much better person from it. No longer would “lol” become an actual phrase used in a sentence, along with all the other acronyms nobody understands when you send them digitally, or God forbid speak them.
Although having hundreds of friends on Facebook might be a great self-esteem boost, try hanging out with your friends face-to-face. Not just your close friends, but all eight hundred or so.
Some might be far away and hard to talk with all the time, but think of how much better it will be once you finally see that friend again sometime down the road. It would be just as satisfying as finding your lost phone or buying the iPhone 5.
But as easy as it is to say that we should just stop using our cell phones or any technology, it has become a major part of our everyday lives. We demand instant news and updates on everything important or unimportant in our lives. Especially in the journalism world, it would be hard to compete if we didn’t have cell phones.
The important factor is to try and not let it rule our lives. We need time away from our phones to stay sane and in touch with the everyday world.