Weekly Vexation: Put Down Your Phone
January 29, 2016
“Mental presence” is an idea that my family has always stressed, and I have come to appreciate it. But I have realized that many of my peers don’t feel the same way.
Sure, cell phones have their benefits, but there comes a time where teens need to know the proper limits on their usage. I may sound like a hypocrite, but our generation needs to learn to put down their phones and focus on the more important things in life.
It’s bad enough that we live in a era in which social media is practically essential to every teenager’s survival. Even I often feel the need to constantly post about what I’m doing, who I’m with and where I’m going.
Students communicate via social media. Without it, teens feel excluded from gossip, rumors and all the “he said, she said” drama. Teens are led to believe that social media image is absolutely vital to social status.
Being a 17 year old girl, I can understand this because I have enough social media applications to push double digits. However, at least I can tell when it’s time to be present and put down my phone, like a family dinner.
English teacher Susan DiFederico has also seen the magnetic pull phones can have over her students.
“I do feel like they can be a distraction sometimes,” DiFederico said. “I know there is an inherent desire nowadays to want to see what has happened since they last checked their phone, but most of the time my students are respectful and refrain.”
Phones can also take away social interaction; hanging out can become sitting next to each other, each person on their phone. For Matthew Reinecke (’18), a possible relationship turned sour when throughout the entire night, his date decided to stare at their phone rather than interact with him.
“It made me feel like the person they were talking to on their phone was more important than me, and we didn’t have another date after that,” he said.
This overemphasis on social media, especially in younger generations, has ironically made us anything but social. We are more focused on updating our statuses, posting on our Snapchat stories, and tweeting about how much fun we’re having. So if you’re one of those people that are always on your phones, I strongly encourage you to spend less time on them and more time hanging out with friends and enjoying your high school years.