The next time you go in public, look around and observe what you see. What is everyone doing? The most common thing that you will observe is people on their smart phones. Phones have taken over today’s society. You see people on their phones at the grocery store, at the bus stop, in their cars, and even when they are just walking. Phones are practically glued to our hands, because of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and every other social media site. We do not realize just exactly how much this addiction is affecting our relationships.
On one hand, social media is great for reaching out to old friends and family that you do not get to see every day, but it has become the focus of how we communicate. How many times have you witnessed friends hanging out together, however, instead of talking they are tapping away on their phones or scrolling through social media? The next time you go out to eat with your family look around, and observe how many people are on their phones. Alyssa Moyer, a student at Alvernia University, says “I think we should put down our phones and appreciate the time we’re spending with the people we love.”
One of the most popular social media sites is Facebook. Almost everyone has a Facebook. You get to reach out to old friends and family, “share” pictures, “check in” to your favorite places, post statuses about what you are doing or how you are feeling, and “like” or most recently, “react” to what others post. The Messenger app that goes along with Facebook allows you to call, message, and video chat others. This is convenient for many people, because it not only allows people to communicate through messaging and calling, but you are actually able to see each other while talking to them.
However, because of this new way to communicate, it has caused many problems and has affected our relationships. By communicating over a phone, unless you are calling or video chatting with that person it is hard to tell their demeanor. Lyndsey Watterson, a student at Alvernia University, says “Sometimes I find it difficult to tell when I receive a text if it is supposed to be funny, sarcastic, or serious.” This causes problems, because we often misinterpret what others say which ends up causing conflict. Although, this contributes to affecting our relationships, it is not the main culprit.
Social media affects our relationships, because we are too busy with our faces glued to our phone screen to pay attention to the people we are with. Tori Foster, a student at Alvernia University, says “We are too busy on our phones that we do not realize how distracted we become when we are spending time with each other.” We often only half listen to the person we are with, because we are too busy talking to other people or scrolling through social media. This causes that person to feel like you do not care about them or that your phone is more important than they are.
So, please, the next time you are with someone, put the phone away and enjoy the company of the person you are with. We are a technological society, and that is not going to change. We are only going to advance with technology from this point forward. However, the relationships we have are more important. Life is too short to ruin or damage the relationships with the people we love, so enjoy them while they are here.