I understand my generation’s addiction to the Internet and technology because I myself am a victim to the disease. I’d like to believe that technology was developed (as the average person uses it), as a social tool that connects us all – indefinitely preventing loneliness for many.
However, while the person facing me on the other side of the table may feel far less lonely while they chat to their friends on Facebook and go through their Instagram feed – I feel quite the opposite. Rather, more peeved than alone, but alone nevertheless.
So I pause midway through my story of some guy walking in to my lecture to collect his phone (obviously intriguing subject matter, who could possibly lose interest? But that’s beside the point) and look over the iPhone that concealed half of my friend’s face. “Sarah?”, I ask as patiently as I possibly can through the rage that has built over her disregard for me, my story and general social etiquette. She glances up at me for half a second before looking down at her phone and says, “Babe, I’m listening, go on.” I continue only to realise that she hasn’t responded to anything I’ve said for the past 9 minutes, so I pause again and wait for her to say “Go on, I’m listening!”. As politely as I can I tell her I can wait until she’s done on her phone, and she reluctantly puts it down in front of her.
Desperately trying to pull through the discomfort of knowing she wasn’t interested enough to pay attention in the first place, all I’m left with is pent up vexation and clenched fists (apparently long-term side effect of my passive aggressiveness and fear of confrontation).
I won’t make the mistake of calling you anti-social for choosing your cell phone over my company, because that wouldn’t be true, sure you’re being social! It’s just rude.
Social ideals have changed for people since technology has become a form of instant entertainment. You can choose what you want to see, hear and read online. The problem is that you can’t choose what I’m about to tell you.
So as you selfie on Snapchat over coffee with your best friend, no matter how good you look in that picture you plan on sending to your entire contact list captioned “At Pret with my boo”, remember that you might just look like an asshole to the person sitting on the other side of the table.
Disclaimer: I will shamefully admit that I have been that asshole before but I’m trying, I promise!