We are Generation Z, or colloquially known as ‘Millennials’. Inevitably, social media has transformed itself into the fundamental backbone of our day to day lives. One simply can’t imagine functioning through a Monday morning without checking the newest notifications on their phone. Through social media platforms, which range from Snapchat, Instagram to Facebook, we consistently interact with one another, expressing ourselves and sharing our experiences, even creating a universal and modern sense of humor. How we love our memes.
Hence, this unique blend of technological evolution, along with the commonality of social media, has seemingly turned us into mere figurines as our phones have, without doubt, become our everyday companions. We wake up, leave the house, go to class, or go to work, take the underground, come back home, lie in bed – all this whilst tightly gripping onto our beloved phones. At this rate, the first thing I see waking up in the morning, and the last thing I see before I head to bed, is the glaring blue hue of my phone screen. I can’t seem to start my day, let alone get out of bed, without scrolling through this godforsaken social media feed. This behavior, I dare say addiction, is truly starting to affect a healthy, daily lifestyle. Perhaps, this is where we might want to call for a little break.
Of course, one must value how these little devices should also be viewed as a gift, and not just in economic terms. More importantly, it allows us to communicate with family and friends, reach out to people we look up to, in seamless ways that were impossible a decade ago. Nonetheless, it is still important to remain cautious and aware. After all, don’t you wake up with a subconscious urge to check your phone? Isn’t our phone always in close proximity, either resting next on the bedside table or loosely hanging from a jeans pocket? Sadly, I can’t remember the last day I woke up without pixellated letters and images piercing my eyes. It is a lifestyle which both saddens and angers me. My phone is with me all the time, everywhere, every single day, every moment of my life.
Soon, words such as “Why do you always have to take your phone with you everywhere?” or “Can’t you just put your phone down?” just dissipated in my mind. I simply ignored these peripheral comments. Slowly, however, the revelation of aimlessly strolling through the infinite feed of my Instagram Explore Page has silently crept up on me. Our phones have become an obsession, an addiction, a dangerous extension of ourselves. Along with the major health concern that this technology undoubtedly affects our eyes, even the brain, aren’t these warning signals enough to help separate ourselves from our phones?
At the end of the day, my plea remains: it might be a good idea just to put the phone down for longer than a few minutes. And, without sound cheesy, we should make sure to truly experience the world and the people around us. I’m not saying that we should live a life free from technology – which would simply be impossible in this day and age. On the contrary, all I’m encouraging is a little break. Our phones should simply remain an accessory, not a surrogate reality.