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News Opinion & Editorial

Technology-Dependent and Socially Inept Teens

This past weekend, I was driving down my street after dark and noticed two people walking side-by-side. I smiled when I noticed them, happy to see a couple enjoying each other’s company. As I drove closer, I noticed that their walking close to one another was about the extent of their interaction. They were both staring intently at their cell phones and completely ignoring each other.

Since when have Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and iMessage become more important than real life interactions? These applications were intended to make connecting with friends and family easier, but, instead, people are prioritizing these to actual human interaction. I cannot count how many times I’ve seen groups of Academy kids sitting together, faces intent on the bright screen in their hands rather than on the people around them.

Almost all of us are all guilty of it. Even today, I was walking with one of my friends to a class and, after a brief conversation, we both took out our cell phones to check our twitter feeds. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until someone sarcastically called to us, “It looks like you two are having a great conversation right now. Keep it up!”

I, as many others, subconsciously check my phone for notifications every several minutes. If you were to count how many times you look down at the screen each day, you would probably discover that you glance at it much more often than you realize. We have become so attached to our cell phones that we often feel incapable of living without them. I’ve talked to friends that say they feel separation anxiety when they accidentally leave their phone at home.

But let me tell you: there is a life beyond our iPhones. Our grandparents, parents, and even some of our siblings had amazing childhoods without access to half of the technology we have today, and we are no exception. We do not want to be known as the generation that has forgotten how to interact with others, and it’s not too late to turn things around.

The next time you’re with friends or family, I challenge you to put your phone down and leave it alone. Is that notification really more important than those you surround yourself with? Probably not. After all, 10 years from now you are not going to remember that tweet, Instagram picture, or snapchat, but you will remember the time you spent and conversations you had with the people you care about.

Don’t let technology prevent you from living your life. Put down your cell phone, and have a conversation with someone. Your notifications can wait until later.

Written by Annie Meacham’15





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