There are a lot of cool things we can do on our phones. We can text people thousands of miles away, tweet that hilarious joke we just heard, Instagram pictures with our best friends, and Snapchat dorky faces to people who know us too well to judge us. I don’t deny that smartphones are a shining beacon of fun in what could otherwise be a completely boring situation. But in an age when we have the ability to do some amazing things with just a few taps on a glowing screen, a serious problem has surfaced, and we can’t ignore it anymore.
Our obsession with our phones has gotten out of hand.
I wasn’t allowed a cell phone until I was far into my high school years. I remember hating my parents for sticking to their guns and maintaining a strict “no cell phone” policy while all of my friends were off texting each other on bedazzled, pink Razrs. Maybe it’s because I was denied this privileged that I now spend significantly less time on my phone than most people around me. Whatever the reason, I consider myself lucky. Sure, I get half the likes on my Instagram pictures that my friends get and Snapchat says I have no best friends. Who cares? I’m one of the few who indulges in all that life has to offer. I don’t miss out on what’s happening by staring down at an ultimately unimportant screen. Despite this, I still suffer from our generation’s addiction to smartphones. My favorite place in the world has always been anywhere that I’m surrounded by my best friends–but more often than not, they choose to stare at their phones instead of holding a legitimate conversation with each other. It’s heartbreaking.
We’re at that incredible stage in our lives–we’re able to do some really amazing things. We’re meeting new people and trying new things, all while getting a top-notch education and having those we love most surrounding us. So why is it that, during the most exciting time of our lives, we spend a good percentage of our time craned over our phones? Why is it that when I’m out on the town with my friends, I spend the majority of my time staring at the top of their heads while they aimlessly browse Twitter? Why are we ignoring the life in front of us, and instead opting to scroll through the lives of others?
There’s a constant need for us to make people think we’re cool through our Facebooks, Instagrams, Snapchats, and Twitters. When you think about it, it really doesn’t make any sense. One day, all of those pictures will disappear. Then what will you have? Memories of the numbers of likes you got on a picture, when you can hardly remember how you felt in the moment when the picture was taken? We have to face the fact that those who have the most interesting and popular social media accounts aren’t actually having that much fun. You know why? Because that girl, the girl who scored once-in-a-lifetime, front row seats to her favorite band’s concert, spend her time staring at a piece of glass while her ultimate boy crush was feet away. It has become hard for us to comprehend that we did amazing things, unless we share those moments with others. We need to backtrack and realize that living in the moment is worth a hell of a lot more than snapping a pic to earn a depressing 30 likes.
These are the best years of our lives and we’re wasting them. We’re not going to look like this forever, or have this much energy and spirit. Shouldn’t we take advantage of our youth and live it up? When you look back on your college career, you should remember some crazy shit. You should be thinking of the friends you made, the parties you danced at, that boy who changed your life, and the nights that made you realize how fun life can be. You shouldn’t remember scrolling through pages and pages of what others did. You should remember living in the moment.
So look into your friend’s eyes when she tells you that story instead of summing up the plot in a haphazard, 140-character tweet. Introduce yourself to that hot guy rather than stalking his Facebook from a distance. Enjoy your moments of freedom instead of indulging in your urge to show others how cool you are. In short, put your fucking phone down.