Blame is in wrong place

By CAITLIN COODY, Staff Writer

Let’s talk about the real reason why relationships aren’t as meaningful today.

There’s been a lot of blame but on social media and texting. People are losing face-to-face communication skills because their heads are always cast down. They would rather send a quick emoji than give actual emotion.

According to the research by David Maxfield, co-author of new research on Digital Divisiveness, the effect of technology on relationships confirmed a total of 87 percent of the 2,025 people responding to an online survey think intrusive or inappropriate use of technology is worse today than it was just a year ago. And 89 percent claim EDIs (Electronic Displays of Insensitivity) damage relationships. Maxfield’s research also includes:

Nearly nine out of 10 people say that at least once a week, their friends or family stop paying attention to them in favor of something happening on their digital devices. And one in four say EDIs have caused a serious rift with a friend or family member.

However, is social media and phone usage really the reason our relationships aren’t lasting?

It’s hard for me to believe a phone can have so much power over a person. Now, I do have friends that make me doubt that belief, because they’re on their phones 24/7. But, what is so difficult about setting your phone aside when you’re with a group of friends or family?

I think the real reason our relationships aren’t lasting is because we don’t care. We don’t care that our friends are with us or that a family member is trying to tell us something important. We’ve become numb to the world happening around us because we’re too focused on the world happening across airwaves.

I also believe this numbness is why we have so many depressed students, whether college or high school. We get an immediate satisfaction when we get likes or retweets that, when real life doesn’t meet those needs, we “can’t even”.

My family created a rule that I now use whenever I’m out with people. When you’re not by yourself, leave your phone in the car or bag. If you’re going out or eating with people, just leave the phone. You’ll survive more than an hour without it… trust me. Plus, chances are, you’ll end your time with them feeling more fulfilled than you would’ve if you’d been on the phone the entire time.

Social media/phone use is not the reason our society has become mute. It’s our own fault. We, humans, are the reason we’ve fallen into this numbing state-of-mind. But, we can fix it! We can start putting the phones down and paying more attention to what’s happening around us… the here and now.

So, next time you’re out, try to keep your phone out of your hands for as long as possible. I promise you won’t regret it.