Sunday, January 12, 2014

Put Your Fucking Phone Away

You're sitting in a room with a few of your buddies. Nothing particularly interesting is going on. Maybe the TV is on or some music is playing in the background. Conversation has come to a standstill. You look around wondering why it suddenly got so boring. Surprise, surprise, every last person is on their phone.

At this point it's just natural. If all else fails, whip out your phone and waste the day away. Whether you're texting, scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, sending out meaningless snapchats, or checking the score of a basketball game, a cellphone acts as an instant escape from the people around you.

Sure, I love the convenience of my iPhone as much as the next guy, and am certainly guilty of all the aforementioned acts, but there comes a point when our current technology really frustrates me. When I'm playing FIFA and my friend pauses the game to text some girl I become openly perturbed. When I'm at dinner and the entire table is checking their twitters and watching stupid vines violence surges through my veins. I just don't understand why suddenly no one is capable of putting their social media on hold long enough to enjoy the company of real, live people.

"Hold on, I gotta text this girl back." Really? Do you? If I had a dollar for every time I heard that line...you know how it goes. My point is that it's pretty sad that some of my friends can't even make it through a game of ping pong without checking their texts. How hard is it to tell someone that you're in the middle of something and you'll text them back later? The truth is, we all feel pressure these days to stay in touch with the world 24/7. God forbid we didn't check our email or Facebook for a week, let alone our text messages.

I used to be annoyed when my parents told me to stop texting at dinner, but now I understand why they felt almost offended at my lack of attention. Picking up your phone in the middle of a meal simply means you're more interested in the text, tweet, or snapchat that's lighting up your screen than the people sitting on the other side of the table.

The problem is simple, but the solution is much more complicated. No one wants to be the guy that tells their best friends to stop texting. One clever game that I've come across is that at the beginning of a meal everyone puts their phone in the middle of the table. The first person to check theirs pays the bill. This is just one fun way to check out of the constantly interconnected and overly public world that we live in today.

In the end, I don't care how you do it or why. Come up with your own game or just have the courtesy to keep it in your pocket. But please, every once in a while, put your fucking phone away.