Smart phones are making us socially handicapped.
By Sofia Almarza
Everyone has pet peeves. Rappers who thank God at award ceremonies. Wobbly tables annoy me. It bothers me when the toilet paper roll is on the wrong way, when someone’s hood is inside out, when people drive under the speed limit, walk slow in front of me when I’m rushing to be on time, fart in the elevator, leave the cap off the toothpaste, throw recyclable items in the trash, and clip their nails in public. My number one pet peeve is when people’s phones seem to be glued onto their hands.
One morning I was headed back to my room after class. I like to say “hello” and “good morning” to people I pass in the hall, but everyone I encountered was looking down at his or her phone. I approached two girls in the stairwell I knew, but their eyes did not leave the screen of the phone in their palms. How annoying! Phones are meant to enhance communication, not thwart everyday human interaction.
I went to a birthday dinner at the beginning of the semester expecting to have a great time – the combination of people was surely going to result in a hysterically fun evening. As soon as everyone sat down the phones came out. Instead of talking to each other, laughing, and having a good time, people decided there was someone not present at the table that was more interesting to talk to. The guy next to me was on Facebook. I sat at the table shocked. People are obsessed with their phones – it is not even funny. What happened to simply having a good conversation? When people feel uncomfortable in a group, they take out their phones and become socially handicapped.
What are we communicating to the world? As Christians, what are we saying to the lost? Maybe I am old fashioned in my thinking, but I have made it my goal to keep my phone out of sight when I am with others. I want everyone to feel valued and respected whether we are having a conversation or just walking together. Join me as I swim against the tide of our iPhone generation. Do not be someone’s pet peeve.