I think that as a society, we do spend a remarkable amount of time on our phones and other devices. Often times, this doesn’t change when we are among the social groups we strive to be in contact with on social media. We focus so much on what other people will think about on what we are doing and who we are spending time with. This seems to encourage the opposite of what we claim to use social media for. Rather than contacting and spending time with those we want to spend face time with, we unintentionally give all of our attention to those we don’t to make people envious of our lives.
Interacting is not the only thing we do on our phones, though. An increasingly important part of our culture is to understand memes and other short-lived Internet movements. By removing ourselves from this, we eliminate a potential bond we could make with someone. For instance, if someone makes a reference to the Bad Luck Brian
Meme, you can understand and sympathize for them on the rough day it seems they’ve had through their comment. Often times, memes also reference other Internet jokes. Number 48 on this list references Crocs. This doesn’t mean anything to someone who doesn’t understand that Crocs branded shoes are one of the most atrocious footwear one can wear. They also wouldn’t understand the connected meme of What are thooose?! When it comes to our current opinions of Crocs.
Carral makes some adequate points in his argument but some of them are weak. I agree that we should be able to interact with the people we want to be with but not whenever we can. There are appropriate times to do this. While it is important to keep in contact with those you are familiar with, it’s also important to meet new people and gain new perspectives about the world. By interacting with only the people you’re familiar with, you’re depriving yourself of learning experiences and expanding your mind.
In many ways, our increasing usage of phones and devices has stunted how we verbally communicate our emotions. This is because we use emojis, memes, and gifs to show how we feel. Is it because we lack the words to explain certain feelings? Has technology started to understand unexplainable feelings better than we can communicate? Or does our language just not include the one word we want to express a single emotion in its entirety?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Today, it’s definitely worth multiple emotions that we combine and feel as one. In fact, the use of emojis are becoming so versatile, it’s basically developing as a language. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was translated into an emoji version called Emoji Dick and was produced by Fred Benenson. Is this a good thing though? According to Alice Robb’s piece, How Using Emoji Makes Us Less Emotional, the use of emojis are a surface level representation of a conversation, they aren’t able to provide the deeper meaning and specificities of meaningful conversations.
If we were able to reduce our phone usage by thirty minutes a day in public, we would be able to balance our phone usage with face-to-face human interaction. With this balance, we could gain so much more out-of-class knowledge. If you think about it, that’s a ten minute bus ride and two ten minute periods before class starts where you have the opportunity to learn about the people you see on an almost daily basis.