In today’s society, there’s one future we don’t need a crystal ball to look into: technology. It’s constantly advancing and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
As a communication arts student, I am well aware of how important it is to keep up with the latest programs and be a step ahead. It’s even a part of my professor’s syllabi to instill this mindset in me. However, another piece of common knowledge is life is short and the constant obsession with smartphones and social media causes us to lose sight of the bigger picture.
Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t be caught dead leaving my house without my iPhone, as it has saved me time and again. But you’re not going to find it glued to my hand either.
During spring break, I ran into several situations where I felt like telling complete strangers to put their phone away and actually pay attention to what they were doing. I learned I could not go to the mall without having multiple people bump into me because they were distracted by what was on their phone. Like everything else, there’s a time and a place for technology. If you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, I fully encourage you to break out the GPS function on your phone. If you’re in the waiting room of your doctor’s office, by all means browse the Internet to kill time, but don’t let social media consume your life.
Anyone who knows me can tell you I am a music addict and there’s no more serene setting for me than being in a crowd listening to a good band live. Whatever is going on outside of that music venue, including the interactive world, is far from my mind. Yet, I feel I am the only one in those crowds not skimming through my news feed. An issue I have to admit my generation and the incoming generation have is that we don’t live in the moment.
It gets to a point where I feel I am the outsider because I am actually listening to a band playing rather than posting a status about how I am listening to a band playing or spending every second of the two-hour show watching through a camera lens.
Do you notice how easy it is to catch up with an old friend through a series of wall posts rather then have a conversation with him or her in person? We’re so concerned with what is going on online that we don’t take time to inculcate some balance in our lives or have a face-to-face conversation.
Although my field of study requires me to familiarize myself with the latest news and uses in technology and social media, I am also aware of the importance of placing it all aside. If society got through life without smartphones, social networking and other additional items on our list of “necessities,” we’ll survive if we dialed things back.
Next time you’re in a situation that doesn’t occur often, just take it in it because a status isn’t going to give you a second chance to enjoy it.
E-mail Bustamante at email@example.com