What Happened to Good, Old-fashioned Talking? By: George Boyle

Our generation is so device-driven that I’m afraid we are headed down a very dangerous path. We need to start to learn how to do things face to face. Everything in our society involves a device. People now can avoid face to face conversations because of texting and social media capabilities. This needs to stop! We need to stop our generation from doing this. According to BusinessInsider.com, “The typical cellphone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day, according to a study by research firm Dscout.” That’s a crazy number, think of all real-time moments those people are actually missing out on.

Electronic devices are making people of my generation now socially awkward because everything from talking to your friend to ordering food is done via an electronic device. On December 3rd, bloomberg.com reported that 8 trillion text messages are sent every year, which is simply staggering. Sure that sounds amazingly technological, but this is not helping us, it is actually hurting us. People are going to lose valuable social skills because they are not talking to people face to face or calling them on the phone, they are just simply typing. Our world is going to become socially awkward if we continue with our device obsessions.

I have started to realize how bad this is getting and I've been trying to change the way I do things. Instead of texting a friend about something, I’ve decided to use my phone to make an actual phone call where I need to speak and conduct a live conversation, a brilliant idea. This interaction is so much better than just back and forth texts. Smart phones and other electronic devices are also disconnecting people from the world.

Once a person puts in their headphones and looks down, they are gone, off in their own little cocoon. They stop paying attention to the world around them and only focus on their phone or particular device.

This is going so far that attentiv.com reports that, “This may not come as a shock, but about 1 out of every 4 people socializes more online than in person, 32% of people would rather text you than talk to you, and a whopping 51% of teens would rather communicate digitally than in person (even with friends).” That’s a large chunk of the population, in all those examples, which are very sad statistics.

While on the subject of devices, a really annoying habit people have developed is when they are with people in real life, they are always checking their phones and texting. This shows that people would probably rather be somewhere else than be in the situation they are in at the time. Not only is it rude, but it can cause the person to miss out on the moment. People are so interested in facebooking or snapping a photo, that they miss out on the live situation. This will be very had to change, but if we all work together and try and stop texting and start talking to people and enjoying the things around us a bit more, we can try and make this world a better place and show that we have more to offer than just our devices.

Please be aware that I am not against technology. I love my IPhone 7. It tells me when I should get up. It provides the latest news and more importantly, the score of a critical game. I know at the swipe of my finger what is going on in the world, which is simply incredible.

Companies like SNAP, Facebook and Apple are creating technology that will improve the world and make our lives better. I get that! They will provide tools to help us navigate an ever-changing landscape. I am all for the next big thing and its potential positive impacts on the world, but come on people, we need to keep our priorities straight here.

My concern that I want to get across as we embrace and utilize all the great technology, is that people should not become obsessed with the device they use every day and lose the most important connection we have, the human race. Life gets complicated as you go from high school to college and then into the real world. People actually have to go on interviews and talk in person. Instead of answering a question via a text with your favorite emoji, you will have to answer a question on the fly and come up with a reaction in spoken words.

Holding the door for someone is more important than checking your timeline. Making eye contact as you walk down a hallway may be the way you meet your best friend or the love of your life. Do you really want to miss that opportunity? I definitely don’t. Yes, we need our phones and yes we need to continue to embrace technology, but we also need to ensure we have the tools to interact with people and continue to engage and get to know people through developing relationships in person. Life is worth LIVING, not snapping and texting!

Created By
George Boyle

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