Monday, August 11, 2014

My Technology Obsession

Since coming back to the states, Caitlin and I have really struggled with technology. It has really overtaken life in the US. We didn't even have a phone in Guatemala. On Wednesday nights, I get together with a group of young adults and play volleyball. They are not very good, and sometimes I get frustrated on the court when people don't pass, or don't even move their feet to hit the ball. But the thing that is the most frustrating for me is that 90% of the people there spend more time on their phones than they do enjoying the sport.
Every time someone leaves the rotation, they immediately grab their phone and start texting, instagraming, facebooking, or doing whatever else you do on a smartphone. It's kind of ridiculous. They even do it when there is more than one person sitting on the sidelines. Some people even bring their phone on the court and pull it out between plays. 2 weeks ago, I finally told someone how annoying it was that everyone was obsessed with their phones. They actually put theirs away and chatted for a few minutes before I went back onto the court. I was shocked.
Caitlin and I both struggle with this, since it has made our world so much more impersonal, yet at the same time, when we are bored or "killing time" we are on our technology. It is part of the culture and you fit in when you are glued to a screen. But even though it is part of our culture, and we are also addicted to technology, we share 1 phone between the two of us, and that one phone is not a smart phone. And plus, we have no friends, so we don't actually get very many text messages or calls, so we normally leave it in the car or on silent all day.
Anyway, one reason that I'm writing this post is because I found this great video that sums up my frustration perfectly. I think you should all watch it. The second reason is because I just wanted to tell you, my friends, something I learned my second semester of college. My interpersonal communication teacher, Susan Grant, taught us that the person (or people) you are with is always more important than the person on the phone. It is extremely rude when people get a text message or their phone beeps and they interrupt your conversation to answer it. 
When did the phone become more important than the person you are with? If it is an emergency, the person is going to call - not text. How many people text you to say they were in a car accident and bleeding on the side of the road, or that grandma just passed away? I hope nobody has. And if they have - this video is perfect for them. 
So let's all just look up from our electronics and make eye contact, strike up a conversation with a stranger, and enjoy time with the people who are in your life, not the words they write on a screen. 

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