Precious, Text-Free Moments

“Hey whats up”

I read those three simple words beaming at me from the screen of my LG Rumour. Punctuation-free, of course, these are some of the most used words in the texting world. Simple, friendly, and in dire need of a response.

Just as I hit “Reply” at the bottom left of my screen, I also turned a corner, stumbling into a lady in her mid-forties, proving my incapability at multi-tasking. As she cursed at me in French, I apologized pathetically and went to pick up my phone and broken battery. Looking down at this lifeless piece of technology, I thought back to the four months of summer I spent without a mobile.

We live in an age where we’d rather check the Weather Network than step outside and we always have multiple windows open on our browsers. Lulls in conversation are filled by endless tapping on mobile phones, never missing a text or email.

“Send” is a task we do much too easily. Communication is instant. Billions of emails are exchanged daily: professional emails, friendly emails, breakup emails.

Technology is doing more and more for us, and although our efficiency is skyrocketing, we are losing some of our most basic skills. Microsoft Word does nearly everything for essay writers: it inserts apostrophes and capitalizes the first word of every sentence. Best of all, it spells for us. I’m embarrassed to admit to this, but it took me ages to learn how to spell “definitely” because I never needed to think about it.

But when I didn’t have a cell phone while waiting for the bus, I was just watching different kinds of people walk by, and was surprised at how refreshing it felt.

Recent studies have shown that the brain needs a certain amount of time everyday to simply rest—to ignore stimuli. Nowadays our brains are so blitzkrieged by information that they simply become exhausted, which impairs learning in the long run.

Call me old school, but I think it’s absurd to have two people halt conversation to send a text message. Since when is a person miles away from you more important than a person right in front of you?

Ultimately, I’m not naive enough to think the world would be better off without our technological advancements. I love that a sudden curiosity for where my roommate is can be satisfied within seconds, but then again, that information is not necessary to my existence. Technology should be used to do great things, not to replace social contact.Need and want are two very different things, and although more often than not we need technology, there are a few instances where perhaps a physical, face-to-face relationship should trump a cyber one.

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