Ringing True

Ringing True

Are our phones making us anti-social, asks Jody from Hawkhurst…

I am writing about young people as a relatively ‘young’ person myself and am sharing my rant with So readers about our frightening dependence on our phones. I have to admit I am slightly guilty of this myself, but want to declare this protest as a mirror to society with the headline ‘we need to change’.

It seems to have become the norm for individuals in the street to be scrolling on their phones, perhaps due to the fear of being idle or simply that it is far more texting other friends? Are their friends around them not that interesting? Because essentially, that is the impression they’re conveying.

Even with my own friends, I find it particularly rude when they prefer the entertainment of a stranger’s hipster breakfast or another trivial cat video than my own story of making vegetable soups using my new machine! Is it really that hard to give our friends the attention they so lovingly deserve, even if the stories are mediocre?

The problem continues when away from friends too; it has become all too easy to hide behind a phone to prevent confrontation. Too often my plans have been cancelled by a rather poor one line text message of ‘sorry I’m tired and won’t be coming out. Next time though’, despite already being on my way out! How frustrating!

Of course, the counter argument is that social media, and our mobiles enhances our contact with one another. Don’t get me wrong, I have been thankful to instant messaging services that allow my friends and I to make spontaneous plans or to stay in contact with long-distance companions, however, I fear it may eventually replace the physical social contact we have.

Are we facing a downward spiral which could lead us to lose the art of conversation? I really do hope not, because spoken conversation is far more enriching than restricted text language that is scattered among emojis of thumbs up and monkey’s faces. Technology is developing and expanding at a rapid pace, enabling phones to become more elaborate, which I fear will further affect our social interactions in the future.

I want to finish by challenging readers to think before you take out your phone in company by default and ask ‘should I really be doing this now? Can it wait?’ I’m sure the answer is, that it probably can.

Email your views, in no more than 600 words, to Editor Charlie Bond: cbond@onemediauk.co.uk. We won’t publish anonymous letters and contact details must be supplied, but if you’d prefer not to be named in print, please make this preference clear.