I might sound like a hypocrite, but it’s true. Some days I want to abandon my phone altogether, disconnect myself from the internet, and simply use my computer as a less-bulky typewriter.
Except it seems I can’t remain a teenager if I don’t have an iPhone humming in my back pocket. The second anyone in my classes has a moment of spare time, they whip out their mobiles. The moment anything fails to be immediately entertaining- a conversation, a film, a class, a concert, a person- the iPhone comes out. Even if something is wildly amusing, people still choose to live it through the lens of their favorite social media account.
It used to be fairly innocuous. A tweet typed out in the moments between classes. Looking at Instagram for a few minutes during a particularly slow car ride. Then our cell phones ingratiated themselves in our lives to the point where we can’t go a single day without them. For a week I didn’t use my phone except for texting my parents to come pick me up from ballet rehearsal (ah, the joys of being a fetus). I found that my friends had coined new jokes that flew over my head. No matter how hard I tried to actively participate in conversations, they all paled in comparison to what was sent over six-inch screens.
Isn’t that just the tiniest bit sad? For thousands of years humans have inhabited the earth, but now our presence is more marked on an intangible cloud of information than on the ground we walk on. And, because this type of post is called waxing philosophical for a reason, I have a guess as to why this is.
We are scared of everything.
We don’t like the quiet places of our mind that only we inhabit because it’s there we have to confront who we actually are. It’s easier to fill the space with salty tumblr text posts, pictures of your friends with dog noses, and articles about men trying to become goats (honestly though, you will never regret reading this article) than it is to consider your own shortcomings. We’re scared that if we actually participate in our lives we’ll do something wrong or something won’t go our way. Social media provides a nice little cushion to protect us against disappointment or boredom. We feel better about ourselves when we depict our lives as rosy and twee because we can inhabit the alternate universe where that party actually was fun or that acai bowl wasn’t disappointing. It’s all an escape.
Although it’s nice to look up a video of a bulldog eating a watermelon (honestly, is the Daily Mail even news?) when you’re having a bad day, Steve Jobs did not create iPhones as fodder for our fear. Mobiles are perfect for looking up when it’s going to rain, coordinating plans, or re-teaching yourself logarithmic functions before a test (me currently). They connect people around the world and provide access to anything we might need to know. That still doesn’t mean we need to be attached to them at all times. Is every aspect of life so horrible that we need to be constantly distracted? I don’t think so.
I’m sorry if this seems a bit rambling. I’m just growing weary of seeing phones being whipped out of pockets the second my schoolbell rings. Please don’t think I’m trying to say everyone who uses their phones frequently is a despicable human being worthy of annihilation. I’m simply a small bean trying to make sense of everything.