As a global community, we’re taking leaping steps in the name of communication, entertainment and scientific discovery. No longer are our TV’s complete with a huge 3D box protruding from the back. Mobile phones are now owned by the masses and actually fit into our pockets, unlike their ancestors from the 80’s. Did you know the first mobile phone went on sale for $4 million? It’s unbelievable that today’s phones in our local supermarket can cost only a fraction of the cash we have in our pockets.
However, everything comes with a downside. We witness it everyday. In my college during break times 90% of the people in the room have their phones out on the table or in their hands, unlocking their iPhones at regular intervals to see if anything has changed on the home screen- spoiler: it hasn’t. Talking with friends can become laborious, since they are often checking the trends on twitter as well as attempting to hold a conversation. This often results in being asked to repeat what I just said or they haven’t really had a clue what I was chatting about anyway. During free periods at college last year, most people in the cafe area of our sixth form building were playing ‘Flappy Golf’ on the iPads school has given us. Of course, the idea behind the iPads was for us to access school email easily and to use them for work. This hasn’t exactly gone to plan.
The thing that is saddest of all to me is couples I see when out in bars or restaurants. Romantically sat on opposite sides of the table, one hand holding their partner’s and the other hand…texting their friends. There’s no conversation whatsoever. On my recent holiday I glanced up at a married couple every so often to see that they were on their phones almost the entire time they were in the cafe with their children. I could even see that they were playing Candy Crush. Is technology truly getting to the point where dates will only contain five minutes of conversation and the idea of a family outing is sitting down with your tablet out in a coffee shop?
I’m no saint when it comes to my phone, either. I waste money on pretty phone cases that get battered the very next day and I’ve been known to discreetly (but, truthfully, it’s never as discreet as I think) check how my latest project on ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ is doing when I’m out for a meal with my family.
I love technology, I really do. It just bugs me that ‘Social Media’ is both such an ironic name and, yet, an accurate one as well. Yes I do believe that you can socialise to a certain degree through a screen. In real life, however, you’re in a zombie-like state, staring blankly at those pixels and consequently missing the teacher hilariously drop their lunch all over the floor in the cafeteria (yes this happened to me once) and additionally can’t join in with the school’s inside joke for the term.
Maybe it’s time to tone down our love for tech and go and socialise in old-fashioned style. You know: face to face.