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Technology Overuse: Disconnect to Reconnect

By Darlene Vazquetelles 

Technology Overuse: Disconnect to Reconnect 

There is a huge possibility that you are reading this article on your mobile phone. There is even a bigger possibility that you are accompanied by a friend who is either on her/his own phone or upset that you are on yours.

By now, we should all be aware of the great impact smartphones have on our society. All of this has been partly because of the Facebook and Twitter revolution. These two social media sites are now followed by others such as Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Vine. Communication via social media has created a great frenzy throughout recent years. Some people find it important and necessary to let everyone know what they are doing at all times.

If you are promoting your company or career through social media, posting at all times would be essential as part of your marketing strategy. However, many people have made posting throughout the day so imperative that they end-up giving more importance to posting than to the person sitting in front of them.

The Restaurant Etiquette 

It is so sad when you see three out of four people sitting at a table, bowing their heads, and staring at their smartphone screens. It makes sense to take out your phone when in company if you want to share a photo or a quote because there is an actual interaction with the people in your presence. Also, it is okay to answer a call when in company by excusing yourself from the table, e.g., for parents who left their kids with a babysitter for the night. However, there is nothing like a nice dinner and eye to eye conversation, where you are able to put your phone in your pocket or purse and enjoy the company.

(One particular restaurant in U.S.A. has introduced a "NO Phone During Dinner" policy, wherein the customers cannot use their cellphones while having dinner. In return, the restaurant offers a 5% discount off their total bill. Source: Guide5 on Pinterest.)

Unnecessary Distraction at the Movies 

Your cell phones are not only a distraction to yourself  at a movie theater but also to the people around you. Both the bright light that ignites when you are texting and the phone call you answered in the middle of the movie are very distracting and annoying. How hard can it be to disconnect yourself for 90 minutes?

Live Concerts Should Be Kept "Live"

So you pay $$ (or $$$) to go see a live show of your favorite artist and as soon as he/she comes on stage, you have that urge to capture it on camera. That is fine. These are cool memories that you want to be able to share. Now, it can go a little bit overboard when you end-up watching the entire show through the screen on your cell phone. You spend the whole time recording videos or taking pictures and end-up missing what you came to see.

After taking the photo comes the making sure it came out all right. Then you start editing by cropping and finding that perfect filter. Tweet it, post it, and tag it! You should be done now, right? Wrong! Now, let's see who "liked" it, who commented, and then start replying. Before you know it, you have missed the essence of being physically present in reality, i.e., watching the "live" show. This same process happens in any other social activity or event. I miss the times when you would take the picture and then have to wait to have it printed in order to see it. Nowadays, we don’t wait until we come home to do the editing and sharing. We have that urge of doing it at that very moment. I say WE because in more occasions than I would like to admit, I have been one of those people.  I end-up upset with myself because it made me miss a great play at a sporting event or a great part of an artist’s performance at the show.

Personal Photo from Las Vegas During Latin Grammys
Knowing the When and Where

I believe that it is very important to step away from technology and enjoy what surrounds you. If you invite people over, focus on them. Whoever is not present does not need your full attention, especially when other people are present and waiting for you to finish texting, posting, reading your newsfeed, checking out what is new on Instagram or what your favorite artist had for dinner through Twitter. Prioritize in life.

I cannot say that computers have the same time-consuming effect as cell phones because computers are not as accesible on a minute to minute basis. Most of the time you sit in front of a computer, and it is in order to complete chores or work. However, with cell phones, most people are not being productive but rather killing time.

Another very reckless decision is to text and drive. You are not only risking your life but you are also risking the other drivers', cyclists' or pedestrians' lives. Knowing in what situations to focus on your cell phone and when to put it aside is about respecting the other person spending time with you.

The New Generation 

It would certainly not be harmful if parents placed a time restriction on usage of a cellphones for children, teenagers and adults.  Moreover, there is no problem with switching off the cell phone. Again, not everybody can do this because of work requirements or other situations, where you need to be at reach. However, if this is not the case, it is totally fine to switch off the phone, and focus on whatever is meaningful.

I will not be a hypocrite and say that I am not guilty as charged of overusing my smartphone. However, watching various scenarios with cell phone over usage on a daily basis and actually having had friends and family ask me to put my phone away, I am more and more aware of the problem. 

I am improving everyday, and it really feels great. I do not have as many pictures on my phone that were taken with the cyber sharing purpose in mind. Also, I do not document every moment of my life via my cellphone. I have been able to enjoy life more, by living in the moment and appreciating my surroundings. Also, I have learned to keep many personal facts out of the prying eyes of the public on social media. Privacy can be very rewarding especially when starting a new relationship.

A must watch video on the subject:

Now, share this article and put your phone away!!!

With Love!

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

1 comment:

Jade Graham said...

The only thing that I really love about the winter (except for Christmas of course) is that the cold weather allows us to wear big woolly jumpers like this one!Lifestyle


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