Not At The Dinner Table…Rude

By Amari D. Pollard

My friends and I have this routine. Practically everyday we meet on the first floor of our dorm hall before speed-walking through the crappy weather that is syracuse to the cafeteria for dinner. Once a table is picked [takes an average about three long laps around the cafe and ten minutes for us to decide] everyone places their phones in the spot they’re going to sit. And when we all return with our food, the first motion is not towards the fries or pasta [notice how we eat nothing but carbs #CollegeLife], the hands instantly move straight for the phones … where they stay most of the time.

Honestly, I rarely use my phone unless it’s to check the time. I’m awful at texting people back, and I really couldn’t care less about what people have to say on Twitter [I don’t believe in updating people on your life every ten seconds, especially if it’s a boring one]. So why is it that I always reach for my phone?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s because everyone else I’m around is always preoccupied with their phones, leaving me with nothing else to do or anyone else to talk to. I usually just browse through my pictures, the same pictures that I’ve browsed through about one hundred before.

I don’t know or remember a time when television was only black and white, when cell phones didn’t exist or when there was no such thing as social media, but I can still feel the shift that my parents are always talking about. The shift from engaging in conversations with people to hiding behind a computer screen, from playing outside to sitting mindlessly in front of the television.

I know people who refuse to order take out over the phone because they hate talking to other people over the phone…or in person for that matter; they rather order online. I personally don’t know about the rest of you, but that shift kind of freaks me out.

What will the world be like when I’m my parents’ age? Oh God! I’m pretty sure we’ll all have chips in our heads and get information fed into our brains, like in the book Feed.

We live in a society where we are constantly tapped into the Internet, social media and all this other crap. It’s incredible how much people find looking through other’s lives more entertaining than what is in front of them. We have become so dependent on these superfluous things. I swear it’s gotten to the point that if you take away someone’s phone for a day, they will probably have a meltdown.

And it’s not just cell phones and social media that are causing this deterioration of society; it’s technology in general.

Everyday new technology is being popped into the world. Smartphones, self-help cash registers [Personally, I rather have someone check me out], navigational systems [what’s a map?], automated voice machines [I want to talk to a person when dealing with my bank, not a machine!] and the list goes on and on.

People are so convinced that this technology is revolutionizing the world, and while it’s intentions are all well and good, I can’t help but see the destruction: lack of communication skills, unemployment [machines replacing people], enhanced food [hello chemicals!], laziness and our intense dependency on it, which in my opinion, is not healthy at all.

It’s been said that we’re so much better off today than we were ten, fifteen, twenty years ago … but are we really?

Picture courtesy of


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