My use of technology is something I have been keenly aware of for quite some time now. When getting my first phone, at the age of 10, I had vowed to never become “overly” dependent on it. Yet here I am, in my third year of college, nearly having a panic attack at the thought of not using my phone during my 50 minute class. What changed?
I’ve heard it said that it has nearly become a security blanket for most people. Undoubtedly there are both benefits and consequences that accompany internet/social media use. In a quite tech savvy world, we tend to dwell more on the positive side of things. However, it is incredibly unhealthy to sit in front of a computer screen scrolling for hours on end.
The instant gratification that we have is ridiculous. We nearly ache for the “likes”, comments, and posts that we cannot possibly miss. The question becomes, what are we missing in the meantime. A few months back my use of my phone was very convicting to me. What message was I giving to those around me? How was I showing them that I valued them? For this reason, I made a very conscious effort to leave my phone in my pocket for my entire walk to and from classes. The more I did this, the more observant I felt. I began making an effort to make eye contact with those around me. I noticed flowers blooming in places I hadn’t before. I noticed the same people who I passed on my way to certain classes. I just feel like I noticed. Since then I have picked up a habit of occasionally looking at my phone as I walk. But in those moments I am much more aware of what I am jeopardizing.
When I watched the TedX on “Quitting the Internet for a Year”, I was intrigued. He was totally honest in saying that in some ways it was a wonderful and freeing experience, but also that he missed many opportunities and in essence set himself back a bit. I believe this is just a truth in our world. To fully disconnect ourselves is to handicap ourselves from what is available. But I do believe we need to choose to pay more attention at times. We need to begin to invest in those around us, making sure that they know we are more than just nodding heads behind a screen. This week’s readings and TedX made me hyper aware of the world around me… in a good way!