Me, My Cell, and I
No matter if you are in college, high school, or even middle school, there is one thing that you will find in every one of these fine educational institutions. It’s not a library, a gym, or a cafeteria, but it’s a student doing something on their cellphone. Consider it the most basic cultural norm for our generation.
From our generation’s perspective, cellphones have simply become a way of life. Whether it’s a productive or destructive use of time, our phones have become a part of Who We Are. Just think about leaving your phone at home for a single day. If you think or know you would feel lost or confused, then you have officially experienced the twenty-first century. With a cellphone, friendships are being made across the world. With instant access to quick communication, friendships never got closer.
While cellphones have brought the world closer and ever more connected, they have also helped to drive us apart. With such fixation on our phones, we seem to forget everything else that is around us. This has become such an issue in society that even our popular culture has coined a term for it. On UrbanDictionary.com (in the true spirit of being a teen), the word “Nocializing” literally means “the act of being out in a social public setting and only spending time on your mobile device, not the people with or around you.” But why is this?
Why is it that we need to always seem as though we are busy in communication, or at least pretend to be? Are our egos so insecure that we can’t look vulnerable to new people and new ideas? Our fear to be alone, or at least look alone in such a connected world of today, is actually driving us apart. Through our egos, we desire to look like we have friends, and look like we belong in something. But, by using that façade, we actually stop ourselves from getting to know that random person on the bus or waiting in line ahead of you for lunch. Chances are that you have more in common with them than you think. So, maybe try and put down your phone for three minutes. The texts WILL still be there.
Through campus and beyond, it’s become very clear to understand just how our cellphones – which have, basically overnight become instantaneously infused in our schedules – have made an impact on our lives. Finding security in your own beliefs, not in other people’s impressions of your statuses, will work for you whether you are always on your phone or barley even touch it at all. Whether you are a phone fanatic or an avid texter, don’t stop what you are doing because an older generation tells you it is ‘bad’. BUT, just remember that there are more ways to make connections in life. So, whether you choose Facetime or actually talking face to face, make it aligned to your style.
(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)