Rarely can you find a student walking across campus alone and not on his or her cell phone. Some would attribute such a practice to insecurity – do you think people will think you are a loser if you’re walking by yourself? Is talking on the phone supposed to make you look like you have a throng of friends? Others say that walking across campus alone is boring and, naturally, talking on the phone passes the whole seven-minute walk time. Seven minutes. Seven minutes of quiet time to yourself should not induce boredom, it should help preserve your sanity. Cell phones, iPods, instant messenger and the Internet – though all wonderful inventions in many ways – not only impede time for yourself, but also hinder productivity and, most importantly, personal communication.
Wednesday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran an article about whether people get “addicted” to the Internet. One man quoted said that his time on the computer caused him to lose his girlfriend and his job.
While this may seem pathetic to you, think about how much time you spend on the computer. Think about the hours you’ve spent on Facebook the past month when you could have been with your friends or doing your schoolwork. Now you probably feel a little pathetic.
As if letters and phone calls weren’t already impersonal enough, instant messenger and e-mail have taken over common means of communication. Instead of walking across the hall, instead of looking at the person next to them – and verbally expressing themselves – people type messages to one another. Not only is this inefficient, it also takes the human aspect away from conversation.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theorizes that humans need social connections to sustain a healthy life, so put down your cell phone, turn off your computer and reach out to your neighbor – literally, not through an e-mail.
Associate editor Adrienne Lang for the editorial board.