Spring breakers should have gone phone-freeBy Carolyn Duke | 05/25/2015 1:02pm
For almost three whole months, the entire University looked forward to the exciting or relaxing spring break we just finished. Many students were enthusiastic to leave for spring break and yet many students probably spent much of their vacation on their mobile device rather than truly enjoying their week being present where they were.
The amount of people on their phones as I looked around during break was alarming. We create a grand hype leading up to breaks, but when we get to the trip, we aren’t even fully there to take it in. Popular clichés often repeated, such as “carpe diem” and “live each day to the fullest,” seem to be bypassing our generation.
I am no exception to this technology-filled reality we live in. Snapchat notifications, constant Facebook checking and ESPN updates on the Astros suffering in the preseason plagued my spring break. Some great memories were formed on the break, but most of them were infiltrated with constant smartphone usage.
I suffered from missing out, not being present and not being wholly satisfied with where I was. Worrying about what others were doing and how my vacation compared to theirs devalued the relaxing aspects of the week.
If I could go back to Saturday, March 14, I would do nothing differently except leave my phone in my duffel bag.
The rise in usage and popularity of smart devices is no surprise. Having social media, worldwide communication and the Internet at the tip of our fingers is incredible and bound to be popular. Unfortunately, everywhere you look the amounts of electronically-lit faces outnumber the amount of face-to-face conversations taking place in our society. Our culture doesn’t stop to smell the roses anymore; instead they stop to check their phones.
The culture we inhabit strives for quick fixes, innovative technology to make lives easier and programs that speed up processes for more time during the day. This aspect of our world is wonderful but costly. It’s ironic these devices have been created to help free up more time in our days due to their efficient manners, yet as we progress, there seems to be less and less time in the day to get what we need done.
Now the University is in the homestretch looking forward to the end of the school year and summer vacation. Summer right around the corner means students will be interning, on vacation or spending time with friends. Selfies will be taken, Twitter updates will be tweeted and many will share their best moments on break with the world. Instantly connecting and remaining in touch with others is great but students should be more aware of their phone usage during their breaks.
Don’t miss out on the breathtaking view you stand before because you are busy deliberating what filter fits best on Snapchat. Allow yourself to enjoy as many moments as possible without a screen in front of your eyes. Listen to music with others rather than with headphones. Enjoy the break and enjoy friends but don’t enjoy other friends’ breaks via social media or text message updates.
Carolyn Duke is a sophomore majoring in secondary education. Her column runs biweekly