- 3 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
Perhaps I am one of the few people left in America who does not have a smart phone and does not care to get one. My old fashioned cell phone is primarily for emergencies.
I teach at a college. What I used to see as I walked across the green or through the halls was young people talking and laughing with each other. That’s what I would expect from young people. Honestly, it is what they used to do. Talk to the people around them.
Now everywhere I go on campus, all I see are young people staring at their phones. There will be eight or nine of them waiting in a hallway for a class to get out, and no conversation between them. Staring at their phones.
Eye contact sends a message. And when you don’t look at people, the message is clear: You are saying, “I am not interested in you.”
It is not just the college kids. When I ride the bus, everyone is looking at their phone. I knocked on a neighbor’s door, and she opened, looking down at her phone as she greeted me. I just compare that to the manners that people must thave had in the old days when greeting someone at the door.
I went to a professional conference, and the breaks between workshops were the perfect time for people to network, make connections, etc. Instead, at my table of 8, everyone (except me) pulled out their phones during the break. As the only one without one, I stared around the table, at everyone who was looking down at their phone, totally uninterested in the people around them.
When personal computers first came out, people labeled as “nerds” those who were wrapped up in the machine at the expense of social interaction. I never liked the label, but I can’t help but wonder if now we have a whole generation of nerds. Or maybe zombies.
Why doesn’t someone come out and say this behavior is rude?
Since I teach writing, let me also mention that writing skills have gone drastically downhill in 10 years. Now the texting abbreviations are finding their way into formal papers, and many of my COLLEGE students are unaware of how to write a complete sentence.