The time has come; get your tinfoil hats ready. Little rectangular “Androids” from Planet Google and Planet Apple are taking over our lives. These smart creatures are always buzzing, playing music, lighting up in dark places and causing accidents. I’m pretty sure college kids can’t even tell you what their daily routes looks like on campus—except maybe that one tree obstacle that threatens their fixated states. So, what are we missing while we’re glued to our phones?
Aside from terrible car accidents caused by texting and driving, we’re missing the little things in life that are actually important. We only live once (so we think), so we should be enjoying ourselves and experiencing other forms of life while there’s still time.
In the beginning of my college career, I walked to class with my eyes focused on my phone. I used my phone as a security blanket at many times, but I regret not paying more attention. I go to East Stroudsburg University, and the campus is gorgeous. It doesn’t matter what season it is. Even when that white stuff falls and either melts to puddles of mud or freezes to black ice, the campus is always picture-ready.
But instead of noticing the nature around me, I was either catching up on celebrity gossip or reading hundreds of pointless Facebook statuses in my newsfeed. I was more concerned about letting the virtual world know that I didn’t want to go to class than letting the actual world know that I was alive and grateful.
Now, what I don’t understand is the phone obsession at the movie theater. Instead of joining in on the laughing or crying with the audience, Samantha—let’s call her—is sending emojis with heart-eyes to her boyfriend and Snapchatting a picture of darkness in response to a Snapchat of a cat. Thanks for the update, Samantha.
Why would people pay up to $11 for a semi-comfortable seat in a cold, dark room to see the new Avengers movie when they don’t actually see the new Avengers movie? Not only is it stupid that those distracted by a tweet are losing money, but their tweet about Kanye West’s terrible new single is distracting to those around them. How can you not listen to those creative advertisements that tell you to silence your cell phone? Just turn it off, and get lost in the movie. Your phone’s not going anywhere.
I have to admit that I, too, am guilty of being on my phone way more than I should. I often find myself turning on the TV–just to pick up my phone and see how everyone else’s lives are going, completely oblivious to what I’m “watching.”
The time I most regret using my phone, however, is during concerts. Like many, I used to feel the need to get a million pictures and videos of performers at their concerts. It’s almost like I needed to document these surreal life experiences just so I could brag and show the world what I was able to see.
My all time favorite artist is Demi Lovato. I’ve seen her 14 times in concert, and have met her twice. Meeting her never gets old; it’s always an emotional experience for me. Easy now, there are “Lovatics” way worse than me. Anyway, I think I was most concerned about showing my Facebook friends that I had first or second row seats for the first 12 concerts.
Even when I was forced to sit in third row (Yes, I’m a concert snob), I would still watch the concert from the little screen in front of me instead of the live show. At my most recent Demi concert, I decided to focus more on what was happening in front of me than on how much my hand was shaking while trying to capture her on my phone. Needless to say, my experience was 100 percent more fun and emotionally impacting this time around.
Last weekend, I went to a Jennifer Nettles concert at a casino near my house. During the concert, I paid attention to who was actually watching and who was merely documenting the performance. The teenagers were all staring at their phones, the adults—aside from the two drunk ladies that kept getting yelled at—were enjoying the show and recording it and grandma and grandpa listened closely, danced and seemed to be having the night of their lives.
Clearly, our society has let the technical aliens abduct our lives. Clearly, we’ve transformed our friends into the little ghosts on Snapchat, the dinosaur living in the Timehop app and our playful emoji buddies. Our lives are gifts and we should live them to their full potentials; living your life through a tiny screen is a life wasted. So please stop and smell the roses—not your screen protector.