We use our phones for everything now – they are our means of communication, our journal, calendar and events planner, camera, photo album, iPod, and more. We rely on phones so heavily that we are quite literally unsure what to do with our hands if we don’t have one in a quiet moment. They are our main means to connect with the rest of the world, to stay updated with the news, to watch the funniest Youtube videos and, most importantly, our friends and family.
The reality though, is that the phones we use so much to pursue connections are actually what is disconnecting us from reality. We watch our friends and families lives via social media, removing the need to contact them as we already feel we know all there is to know about their lives. Aside from the few drama queens in the crowd, how many of us really post on Facebook or Instagram when we are having a bad day? Someone who is looking at my life through this lens will see the glorious travel experiences, beautiful lunches out, and adorable moments with bae. They won’t see the time spent alone, the stress and pressure of work, or the pizza that was ruined because I left it in the oven too long. This glow that we paint over our lives, coupled with the lack of true connection is driving a divide between us. We are no longer there to offer support and we fear to seek it because that means we aren’t doing as well as we appear to be on social media.
We use our phones to find dates with people who are too afraid to go out and approach others in the real world, and by doing so we are becoming those people ourselves. When we do spend time together face to face it is peppered with awkward silences and uncertainty about how to behave because we are out of practice. Or perhaps we are just incompatible because there was never a connection in the first place, just a simple swipe to say that we approve of a few photos, defining compatibility in its simplest and stupidest form. Then we don’t know how to connect in person so we reach for our phones to fill the void, forcing up more barriers.
We say so little when there is so much inside of us. Reducing conversations to a few words peppered with emojis, carefully chosen not only to depict our mood but mostly to follow trend and ensure that the image portrayed maintains a filter from reality. We use endless types of editing software for our photos to ensure that they show us at our best, not our realest.
We hide behind our phones because we believe that we can use them as a wall between reality and how we wish our lives to appear. This image that we may once have reserved for those we wish to impress the most is being rolled out to even our closest friends as we move further from open, honest relationships and deeper into the technological darkness.
If we really want to connect with one another, to understand each other and feel that reciprocity, we need to put down the phone and talk. We need to have FaceTime that doesn’t happen in cyberspace. We need to stop working towards an image and to be real, unfiltered and open. Put down the cell phone and talk. If you are wondering how someone is, invite them out for coffee rather than trolling through their photos and statuses online.
Our phones are driving a barrier between us and the real world and unless we start to break down those walls and become more open ourselves, the trend will only continue to mount. If we really want to find a connection, we need to disconnect from technology when it comes to social situations.