By: Ruhi Gandhi
Today’s generation knows the addictive nature and necessity of technology, especially
texting. That irresistible feeling to pick up the phone as soon as it lights up, or the sound of a notification as it rings in your ears. “Just one reply,” you think to yourself, but it turns into a full-fledged conversation, driving you away from the real world and into a virtual vortex of repetitive, futile conversations.
Think about it: you’re at work, and for some reason you can’t reply. SHIT! See, now a panic is building up within you. What will the other person think? Will they assume you’re ignoring them? The desperation to reply drives you up a wall, but you can’t do anything except wait. Finally, your phone is in hand, and you’re ready to reply! You unlock your phone and realize you have missed a lot of “important” messages, and a bunch of people seem angry that you didn’t reply. To that I say, “DON’T FORCE ME TO BE ON MY PHONE.”
Sure, phones have made our lives easier, more efficient, and our communication more effective, but does that mean that if for some twenty odd hours you weren’t able to get to your phone, people should blast you with angry assumption-filled messages? Parents are always saying “get off your phone,” friends are always saying “live in the present”, but the minute you put your phone aside and have some peace with yourself, doesn’t it seem like someone’s out there getting mad at you, because you couldn’t reply to their ever-so-important “Whatsup?” Well I’m sorry. I’m sorry for those of you who conform to this type of social anxiety, because it’s all just a form of social pressure.
In his article for The Guardian Michael Arceneaux said, “I don’t understand why this task is difficult for people. After all, you’re on your phone either way. The way you can scroll through every social media app you’ve downloaded is the same way you can look to ‘messages’ on your phone, read said messages and you know, respond to them.” Well, scrolling through social media is usually a no-brainer, a simple way to pass some time. Would you want someone to reply to you just as indifferently? Aren’t messages supposed to be personal and thought provoked? Don’t you get upset when you get a rushed and impersonal text? Why is there no more patience to wait for a quality response?
Moreover, we tend to constantly meet new people everywhere. So everyone knows a couple people. Let’s do some math: You are trying to do homework, you decide to respond to everyone before you start so that you don’t get distracted and you don’t seem rude. So you reply to all six texts you received. You put your phone aside and open your book. “PING…PING” your phone rings, everyone just replied back within minutes. Now you decide to reply one more time and put your phone away, but the same situation repeats. Now you have an opportunity cost. Study for your grades, or reply to please people. Not everyone can resist the urge and this is where understanding comes into play. Do you neglect things that are necessary to conform to everyone else? How far will that take you in different situations?
Personally, I was addicted to my phone a couple years ago. I would talk to everyone until work started building up and life came around. I couldn’t afford to be distracted by the texts and all the after thoughts that followed each conversation. The use of the phone should never be “stuffed down someone’s throat” as a friend of mine said. It is suffocating for some people, believe it or not. So it's okay to say “don’t force me to be on my phone.”