In the technological age, we tend to rely very heavily on our ability to acquire instant social connections and information. Smartphones allow us to receive emails, check Facebook statuses and stalk celebrity tweets wherever and whenever we desire. But does this accessibility interfere with our human-to-human contact? Are we missing part of the human experience in our relationships with our screens?
Jason Ray-Alfaro, ’16 Huntingdon, Pa.:
It depends on the individual, but in a broad sense, people are addicted to technology because it makes their lives easier. Some forms of technology aid in communication, but I think technological entertainment can inhibit interactions and people should pay more attention to real life, than their imaginary worlds. People have become timid in their real-life interactions due to this other form of communication, but we must find an equilibrium. One cannot prioritize real-life over technology because if you fall behind in technology, you fall behind in real life.
Harry Cauler, ’15 Moorestown, N.J.:
I think we communicate more over phones than face-to-face. I’m kind of addicted to my phone. If I leave it in my room for a day, I feel that I’m missing out on possible interactions with people, but sometimes I get sick of having to respond to everybody. It bothers me though at dinner when all of my friends have their phones out and they care more about tweeting than talking to each other. Our world is in a transition, moving into the digital age. The way we do stuff is going to be different whether we like it or not. We just have to deal with it.
Trey Mathews, ’16 Hollidaysburg, Pa.:
Smartphones are people’s second brains. When they don’t know something, they look it up; when they can’t remember something, they store it in their phones. We’ve developed a reliance on our phones. I like my iPhone because it’s convenient for emailing, for taking pictures and for observing other people’s social interactions on social media sites. However, a pet peeve of mine is someone who’s always on their phone, every time you see them.
(Student pulls out cellphone and stares at it intensely.) I can’t talk to you now.
Neal Donovan ’16 Reading, Pa.:
Sometimes people focus on their phones because they think it’s the most important thing in their lives. I think it’s a buzz kill to be hanging around people who are on their phones. You can take your smartphone anywhere, but when you’re in a situation when you’re with people, you should be with those people and do things with them. I wouldn’t want a smartphone. There’s a lot more beyond the screen.
-Hannah Jeffery ’16, Juniata Online Journalist