4.22.2014

'Tech For Thought' - Can you live without your phone?

The other day I was thinking about how addicted we all are to our cellphones and how it's brought upon a negative impact on my own life. I find myself at parties, surrounded by people or with friends and going through my phone constantly. Not only does it disconnect you from the people around you, but it can turn even an extroverted, social individual into an anti-social one. I used to always be the talkative one at parties and now I feel like I rarely ever talk. Well, okay that's not exactly true either, but I noticed how being so absorbed into technology has turned me more anti-social than I would've liked.

But why is it that people are so addicted to being on their phones? To be honest, it's just easier. If you're bored, the internet is full of amusement. Or say you're just an awkward person by nature and you don't have much to say. Whipping out your cell phone puts that awkwardness on the back burner, at least temporarily. The thing is, even awkward people get less awkward, by ENGAGING in real conversations with REAL people. With practice, introverted quiet types even become more sociable and outgoing. There are times when you can't just put those moments on the back burner either. Like when you're doing an interview for example. I had a three hour interview not so long ago with a company in downtown and I kept thinking about how nice it would be to reach for my phone and just pretend they weren't there. Even though I consider myself pretty 'pro' at interviews at this point in my life....I still get those awkward moments with interviewees who I don't think I really match up with in terms of personality and those moments get awkward fast.

I'm trying to be better at this and feel like I've improved slightly. I am more conscious about taking out my phone when eating out with friends or even eating with my boyfriend but as they say, 'old habits die hard'. I think most of the time I just whip out my phone when I want to take a photo but it's something in general I'm constantly trying to improve on because I know the more I take out my phone, the less I want to interact with people IRL.

Challenge yourself. Disconnect from the online world when you're not at home, especially if you're on vacation or with friends for an extended period of time. Bond, play and have fun -- without technology. It may not seem like a big deal to most people but these things build up over time. And the more we disconnect from the real world, the harder it will be to connect to the real world. Technology is amazing for what it can do for our daily lives, but at the end of the day, it's a piece of machinery. It's man made. There is no emotional or psychological level of bonding that you can adhere to technology the way you can with real people.

In the words of the late Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, "Ain't nothin like the real thing"

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