Is social media really social?

Although the increase in cell phone use has made it easier for us to communicate, share and search the World Wide Web, The Equinox believes that our constant screen-time is taking away from social skills, how we deal with confrontation, our relationships and more importantly, taking away from time that we could be observing the world around us.

We understand that using a phone enables us access to information across the globe like never before, but we believe that this unlimited access has become a permanent burden that we carry with ourselves, taking away from person to person contact and casting a light on our underlying natural tendency to never want to be alone.

Our generation avoids feeling alone by finding satisfaction through looking at what people are doing on social media and having conversations through the phone even though we are still physically alone.

Using our phones gives us the feeling that we are a part of something; that people are listening to us and are paying attention to what we are doing. But why, even when surrounded by friends and family, are we constantly looking at a screen, when really we should be living in the moment?

We have all heard ourselves say, “YOLO,” meaning you only live once.  But really, we focus so much on typing a tweet and posting the moment on Instagram that instead we lose that moment which we have only once. Why is it so important to share what we are doing with others who we are not with? We believe that this takes away from the personal time that we could be sharing with actual people around us.

We do understand how imperative cellphones are to completing certain tasks, especially in the workplace. But the convenience of having everything accessible on our phone replaces the necessity to develop skills that we might need to perform if our phone dies.

Philip Bergeron / Graphics Editor

Philip Bergeron / Graphics Editor

For example, looking at a map for directions, confronting people about a sensitive subject, not knowing emergency contact numbers—these are just a few things that we rely looking at our phones for.

Because we rely so fully on our cellphones to make it through the day—constantly checking emails, sending texts and using SnapChat—we find ourselves lost without it by our side.

Nomophobia is a new slang term defined by the Merriam -Webster dictionary as, “a pathological fear or dread of not having one’s mobile phone.” The fact that “to be without one’s phone” is an actual fear is a haunting thought. It’s such a routine to have our phones with us at all times.

The Equinox challenges you to put down your phone for a couple hours throughout the day. Use that time to recognize your own thoughts and think and talk without your phone.

For once, let’s stop rewriting our words in a text and let’s just talk to people around us without fearing judgment.

Once you take your face out of the screen,  you will become more aware of what’s going on around you. You will probably notice how infectious it is to be on your phone, as everyone around you is bowed down in their phone. It might even be hard to strike up a conversation with someone you want to talk to because their focus is on the screen.

Don’t be that person.

Be available to those around you and be available to the moment you’re in. Do not think that you have to go searching through your phone to avoid personal interactions. When you’re sitting in class early and everyone around you is on their phone, stand out—start talking to people around you and learn who they really are, not just who they are on Facebook.

The Equinox realizes how significant phones are in our daily lives. But we shouldn’t let them take over. Let’s not forget how meaningful living in the moment can be. It’s nice to stay in touch with friends who have moved away, or family you can never see, but it is essential to create new relationships with those around you instead of hiding behind the screen.

The next time you leave your phone at home by accident, leave it there. Go through the day and really look at who and what’s around you.

There might be something you’ve been missing.

Share and Enjoy !