A few months ago, I watched a video in which an American talked about how terrible he thought millennials were. I remember this dude saying with disgust that many millennials check their phones in the morning before saying good morning to their significant other.
I’m not only single, I actively do not want to meet someone right now. Also, many of my family and friends live in another city, and the ones that live in Calgary are quite busy, as am I. My phone is how I stay in touch with them, but since I don’t have a significant other to talk to, should I just get rid of my phone and be alone?
I was reminded of that video because today I heard someone say that there’s an epidemic of people looking down towards their phones instead of out towards others.
The implication seemed to be that if someone is looking down towards their phone, they’re not looking out towards other people.
To be fair, this person also talked about other technology that he thinks encourages this behaviour, and the rest of the talk was exceptional. I just want to focus on what he said about phones.
By the way, this post isn’t going to touch on the demonizing of phones. There are many other articles that do this quite well. All I’ll say here is that technology can be dangerous or helpful; it depends on how you use it.
Now, obviously I sometimes waste time on my phone, but this isn’t because of my phone. Pre-phone, I wasted time on celebrity gossip by reading magazines. Pre-phone, I wasted time on mindless shows by watching an actual television. My phone has just made wasting time on these things easier.
Most of the time, however, I’m using my phone to connect with family and friends, work on several volunteer projects, update my blog and YouTube channel, and listen to music as a way to help with anxiety.
Some might argue, “Instead of looking at your phone, you should look at what’s around you.” I do that. I ski, shop, work, cook, travel, exercise, volunteer, and go to church. I spend time with my family and friends whenever I get the chance. I’m often looking at what’s around me.
When you see someone on their phone, all you know is that they’re on their phone. You can’t know what they’re doing.
I remember seeing a cartoon on Instagram. It showed several people on a train on their phones, but it showed what they were doing. One person was checking in on how someone’s cancer treatment was going. Someone else was sending a picture of the view out the train window. Another person was texting their friend who was going to a different university.
It’s really easy to judge people for being on their phones, but instead we should be assuming the best about the people we see. My phone doesn’t stop me from looking out. Often, looking down at my phone is what lets me look out towards other people.
P.S. I told my friend that I was writing this, and she told me about this picture.