Life with Lauren: Pull your head out of your apps


Lauren Deisley, Columnist

Text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Yik Yak; there are so many distracting apps on our phones for us to occupy our time with.

We love knowing what everyone else is up to and we can’t help but to keep checking our phones. That little beep and flashing light takes over our lives.

We sit in the GAG with our phones next to our salad bowl (or ice cream, because that’s always a good idea!), scrolling through Facebook to pass the time while pretending to listen to what our friends are saying.

Or we hide our phones beneath the table in class, not paying any attention to what the professor is teaching today, thinking they don’t notice when they really know exactly what’s going on.

The worst is when we’re walking down the sidewalk to our next class, checking messages or Snapping our friends while we walk.

We don’t care that we’re walking at half the pace of everyone else or that we bump into other people—our messages are far more important than everything else.

Or are they?

I see this every day and it makes me a little sad.

Yes, I too am guilty in a certain degree to quite a bit of this. Sometimes I finish a message as I’m locking my dorm or I write a quick text to my boyfriend while I walk up the stairs in Fine Arts on the way to my next class—stairs and texting is a terrible combination.

I try not to, of course.

I make sure I’m not on my phone while crossing the street or walking down the sidewalk or sitting in class. That can not only be dangerous, but also incredibly rude.

The worst-case scenario is that we could be hit by a vehicle or step somewhere uneven and injure an ankle. Or we could anger a professor, which is never something anyone willingly wants to do.

Why do we spend so much time on our phones?

Why is it that what’s happening digitally is more important or interesting than what’s going on in the physical world?

I often find myself out to dinner with friends and every single one of them is on their phones while mine stays screen-down on the table.

Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, or maybe I’m just boring, but I’d love to see my friends’ faces when I’m speaking to them. Assuming they even heard me.

We’re toeing a fine line right now.
Soon, our society will be so buried in our phones that we’ll forget how to have real face-to-face communication, assuming we haven’t already.

Relationships will hold less meaning, conversation will no longer be stimulating. Nothing will be the same.

Look up once in a while.

It might be worth your time to see your best friend’s smile as they tell you what happened in class this morning. You may enjoy the flash of wonder as you make a new friend. You could notice the look on your professor’s face as they talk about something they’re so passionate about that they’re willing to teach it to you.

There’s so much we could do with our lives. Take a break from your phone. Pause on the edge of the sidewalk to finish your text so you have time to walk carefully and enjoy your surroundings. Listen to your friends at dinner.

After all, your phone can wait.