Letter to the Editor by: Steven Goodman, Columnist, Sophomore
How did I ever live without my smartphone? That’s a question I’m sure a lot of people ask when they buy their first iPhone, Android or Windows Phone. It’s a question I asked when I first got my hands on my Droid Razr. Having a smartphone basically plugs you into the world 24/7 with a constant flood of tweets, Facebook updates, breaking news bulletins and emails.
Whenever I find myself walking through campus, the biggest thing I notice, aside from the sea of people, is how many of them are on their phones. Walking to class, waiting for class to start, studying, watching TV, hanging out with friends, even exercising sometimes; we are almost constantly using our phones.
Personally, I think it’s time for us to unplug from the world for a little while. While smartphones are great because they can connect us to the world from anywhere, they are also bad for the same reasons. We can only take in so much information at one time, and it doesn’t help when you have the TV on, your laptop open and your phone on at the same time either, which I’ll admit I am guilty of doing.
Instead of taking your smartphone everywhere with you, try leaving it at home for a little while. Do you really need to be on your phone (music aside) when you’re exercising? Is it absolutely necessary to check Twitter while a professor is giving a lecture? Unless you’re expecting a very important call/text/email, it probably wouldn’t kill you to leave your phone at home for an hour or two.
I’ll admit, I’m guilty of using my smartphone quite a bit too. That being said, I still leave it in my dorm sometimes, or at least try not to check it every chance I can. When I’m walking to class, it won’t harm anything if I don’t see what’s happening on Facebook or check the latest news posting. It can almost clear your head when you don’t have that constant stream of incoming information.
It might feel weird at first, not having your phone on you, but I find it nice, not hearing my phone go off every few minutes for a new email or Twitter update. Plus, I’m not checking it constantly, wondering if I received a notification (putting your phone on silent isn’t the same as not having it).
According to a March 7 article on CNET UK’s Crave blog, a study by MobileInsurance.co.uk showed that the average person spends about 23 days using their phone each year. Granted, that number includes making calls and texting, but that is still a long time using your phone and the amount of information that equates to, if you can put a number on it, would be huge.
As humans, we can only take in so much information at one time, so all I’m suggesting is we take some time away from all this info and clear our minds. Just unplug for a little while.