Immersion in technology causes social disconnect

Everywhere you look on campus people are walking with their heads down, face glued to cellphones, paying no attention to their surroundings. It’s rare to see a group of friends at Mary Jemison get through lunch without every person whipping out their cellphone in the middle of conversation. There’s a time and a place for pulling out your phone – and it is not anytime, anywhere.

Cellphones are a part of our lives. They allow us to stay in contact with our family no matter how far away they are. We communicate with friends on campus and carry out conversation through texting. Smartphones are essentially mini computers that give us instant access to the Internet and whatever websites we may need to use. It’s no wonder cellphones are kept close at all times.

That said, cellphone use needs to be a little more regulated. Some basic cell etiquette covers what most parents ask for – no cellphone at the dinner table, turn it off or on silent during class and don’t take it out during occasions like church or lectures – simple, right? Unfortunately not everyone chooses to abide by these rules.

Let’s be honest – even for the less socially adept out there, we can all recognize situations when it is rude to have our phones out. Choosing to keep your phone under wraps or not is your prerogative. Not everyone says thank you or holds open doors for other people, so why should people worry about phone etiquette?

Consider friends who go out together and instead of talking to each other, they’re busy texting someone else. Rudeness of ignoring friends aside, by getting wrapped up in some other conversation you’re missing out on the present situation.

Our generation is famous (or notorious, take your pick) for multitasking – on the Internet, when doing homework or when hanging out with friends. It is socially acceptable among friends to sit down for lunch together, carry out a conversation in person and continue texting all at the same time. Your attention is divided between every action, your focus never on one person in particular for any substantial length of time.

As difficult as it can be to set aside the phone, sometimes it’s good to just let that text sit unanswered for a while. Instead, you can actually hang out with and talk to your friends, enjoy spending quality time with loved ones or even understand what is happening in class.