Recently I’ve been seeing a lot more of the tops of people’s heads while walking around campus. It’s not because I’m getting taller, or because people are getting shorter, or because the tops of heads interest me. It’s because of technology, specifically cell phones.
I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about when I say a good majority of people are constantly on their cell phones, absorbed into technology like zombies. Strolling around the mall, walking on the sidewalk, at the gym, right before they go to bed at night and as soon as they wake up in the morning. Smart phones have taken over people’s lives, it’s the sad truth. As they stare down at whatever device is in their hands, all I can do is shake my head at them and walk on.
It has become a major issue, the fact that a lot of people are so reliant on technology that they feel the need to always be connected to the internet and to share every single picture or event that happens to them. We all know people like this, and become really annoying after a while. How do they even have enough time to post 30 Facebook statuses in one day? Whose attention are they trying to get with all these messages? And what’s the point really?
I think the whole downward spiral of face-to-face communication all began with texting. It gave people the ability to keep two separate conversations going at once; one with the person in front of their face, and one with a person anywhere in the world. It was convenient, easy to use, and best of all it provided instant feedback – something that has become more difficult for people to live without. Today, the same still holds true, sometimes rising to a more serious level.
Quite frankly, I think texting is terrible. I would much rather see someone face-to-face or at the very least call them on the phone rather than text them. Unlike texting, verbal communication provides so much more emotion and feeling that texting can’t provide (but tries to with the use of emoji’s). Also, texting can be taken many different ways, which can end in arguments or major miscommunications. I do admit, it is convenient, but that’s where the positives end.
As sort of a snowball effect (speaking of, how ‘bout this weather), manners and proper etiquette have gone out the window along with face-to-face communication skills. It’s rare that I can count on people to be on time to events because everyone has resorted to being “fashionably late,” which I don’t think is very fashionable at all. When I visit a store or a restaurant, it’s rare to see employees my age looking at me when they talk to me, being proficient in the work they do, or providing customer service when I have a question or a problem. Now that could be the fact that it’s a little bit awkward to treat a customer that is your age the same as an adult customer, but those kinds of situations are something we need to get more acquainted with as younger generations start to become the primary job holders.
But contrary to everything that is going on in the world, I think chivalry isn’t dead. I’ve seen signs that there is hope. People still hold the door for me, occasionally, and sometimes I hear the words “please,” “excuse me” and “thank you” as I ride the bus around campus. These are little things, but sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference, and these little things are a good start to getting better at face-to-face communication.
I hope those who read this can see that technology and our cell phones are pulling us farther away from each other. So put away your phone for a little while, don’t worry about who might send you a video of a cute kitten chasing its tail in the next hour. Other people can wait while you enjoy yourself. It’s not your job to respond to everything thrown at you 5 seconds after it happens. So put away your phone, look up, smile, and take a deep breath and take it all in. Welcome to the real world.