Take a message and disconnect from the texting


Graphic by Simran Dhaliwal

How many times a day do you check your phone? Most of us own a smartphone that has become a part of our everyday lives.

Understandably so.  After all, they are convenient.

Today, you might feel more connected than ever before, but the reality is that many of our interactions are done through a machine.

For example, instead of talking to someone in person, we often elect to wish them a ‘happy birthday’ over social media.

We have lost the personal touch.

I was on the GO Bus a couple of weeks ago when I noticed something alarming.

As I looked up from my seat, virtually every single person was on their phone.

It was as if they were glued to their screens.

This sort of dependency is simply not good for us.

It affects our health. The amount of time you spend staring at a screen can strain your eyes.

This screen time has become a major issue in our society today as almost everything we do involves a screen.

In some ways, this is inevitable. Computers give us the power of e-mail.

They allow us to search for things in a matter of seconds — things that would otherwise take much longer to find.

However, it’s important to take a break from our technologically-reliant society from time to time.

This past Christmas break, I was on vacation in the Dominican Republic with a few other family friends. We had the whole trip planned.

But, you know what our first question was as university students: how do we connect to the WIFI? We were desperate to get a connection.

One of the older adults asked us, “Can you do anything without your phone?”

This question got me thinking that, for many of us, the answer seems to be no.

It was quite upsetting that our idea of a relaxing getaway still depended on technology while there were so many other activities that we could do.

Technology is great, there is no denying that, but when it comes to a point where you are unable — even unwilling — to communicate with the people around you, then it’s a problem.

So, what are the alternatives? Well, you can read a book or write.

You can play cards or try learning a different board game. Talk with one another instead of expressing your emotions through emojis on a screen.

There is so much you can do that doesn’t involve technology.

I am not saying that spending some time on your phone is detrimental because we all do it, however moderation and control are the key.

When it begins to interfere with your everyday life then you need to change your routine.

So make a conscious decision to reduce your dependency on technology because chances are, if the first thing you do after you wake up is search for your phone, then you have an addiction.

And the first step to solving any addiction is to recognize that it exists.

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Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.