KORENICH: Cell phones inhibit communication

Photo+by+Vale+Cardenas%2Fvaleria.cardenas%40marquette.edu
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KORENICH: Cell phones inhibit communication

Photo by Vale Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

Photo by Vale Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

Photo by Vale Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

Photo by Vale Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

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While standing in line at Erbert’s and Gerbert’s last week, I looked up from my phone only to realize that everyone around me was on their phone too. We’ve all been guilty of that.

It seems that whenever there is a moment of downtime, the go-to move is to reach for our phones, even if we are surrounded by other people. I have stood in line or sat at lunch with a friend and spent the majority of my time surfing the web and checking my Instagram. Phones have hindered people’s ability to effectively communicate face-to-face with others.

Cellphones have become so commonplace that small-talk is almost unheard of and is even seen as weird. Those times that I have left my phone at home and have been somewhere with other people, I have felt weird and awkward, like I was standing there with nothing to do.

We should be able to turn to those next to us and ask them how their day is going without being looked at like we are crazy. Before cellphones, this is how people made friends, but now it is strange to do so. They could be standing next to their new best friend, and they would never notice because they’re too busy on their phone.

Of course cell phones have benefits. We could not communicate effectively if we had to write letters, talk face-to-face, or even make a phone call whenever we needed to quickly convey a message to someone. Cell phones help to increase productivity and get messages to people fast. Cell phones are helpful and beneficial when they are used in moderation.

I didn’t even realize how big of a problem cell phones were until my dad pointed it out. I was home for fall break and he was being introduced to someone he had never met. She turned around and without even looking up from her phone, stuck out her hand. She probably didn’t even realize she was being rude, but from an outside perspective, I was shocked.

I feel that parents, and especially older generations, have a bigger problem with cellphones, but I think it is justified. There is not a reason anyone would need to be constantly on their phones.

Phone usage has become so excessive that if someone doesn’t receive a response almost instantly, people think they are being ignored. Phones also hinder communication when they are not outwardly being used.

I know I have had times in class when I haven’t been looking at my phone, but wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around me because I was too focused on whether or not I’d received a new message. It is difficult to be fully present in the moment is they are always worrying about what is going on in their cyber-world.

I’m not saying everyone should throw their phones out of a moving car window and live technology free. We all need our device, whether it’s to check in with our parents or to look up what breed that cute dog we saw was. However, as a society our phone usage can be greatly decreased.

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