Monday, April 7, 2014

Socialization is now Dehumanized

I was at Panera's Bread Cafe yesterday and once again I observed people who gather for lunch only to take out their cell phones or smart phones and proceed to ignore the person they're with, so they can text, search, or do whatever they do. What has happened to simply talking to one another?
My students admit they would rather text their friends than actually talk to them in person. Microblogs, snapchat, tumblrs, tweets, and instagrams are becoming more popular than Facebook. These apps don't require as much dialogue and they concentrate more on videos and pictures. So, where are the social skills? Where are students learning how to interact in person? And, it's not just teens or young adults. It's the older population as well.
I had lunch with a good friend of mine recently and within the first ten minutes, she answered two calls. I turned my phone off. I admit she's younger than I, but really? We can't live one hour without answering the phone? Not only did she answer her phone, but as we waited for lunch, she texted her husband a few times as well. Truth? I wanted to walk out. Instead, I smiled and raised my shoulders as if to say, "oh well, what can you do?"
There's a time and place for everything. I understand one should have their phones on if they have children, just incase, or if there's an expected phone call that is very, very important, but I think we should try going back to talking with one another. Putting our phones down will not hurt us. Watching someone's facial expressions as you communicate can actually be wonderful. Knowing you're being heard is important. I don't want to turn back the times. I realize that's impossible and impractical, but I really wish we could go back to talking face to face.

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