5 Reasons Why We Should Leave Our Smartphones Alone

“I cannot stress enough that the answer to life’s questions is often in people’s faces. Try putting your iPhones down once in a while, and look in people’s faces. People’s faces will tell you amazing things.” Amy Poehler

1. Because it’s slowly eating away at your soul.

The next time you find yourself completely wrapped up in a text, stop and observe your physical appearance. Head down, shoulders rounded, eyes squinted in concentration—sounds pretty sexy, right? While we might be crafting clever, appealing conversations over text, we forget that we are also unconsciously communicating to the people actually around us. We may feel like the wittiest poets in iPhoneland, but there’s a good chance that we look like phone-clutching zombies in the real world.

2. Because it’s straight-up rude.

Texting in theaters, texting at dinner, texting while a real, live person is speaking to you, these are all things that are not okay. If we really need a game where the first person to touch their phone pays for the whole meal, there’s something wrong with us as a society.

3. Because we are trading tech-savviness for real-life ineptitude.

Forget about holding a pleasant, real-life conversation. I can’t even spell anymore.

“We all fall into our habits, our routines, our ruts. They’re used quite often, consciously or unconsciously, to avoid living, to avoid doing the messy part of having relationships with other people, of dealing with a person next to us. That’s why we can all be in a room on our cell phones and not have to deal with one another.” Andrew Stanton

4. Because they’re wreaking havoc on our love lives.

Relationships are much simpler than our generation makes them out to be. It’s now common to hear people saying things like, “Well, he was kind of rude to me on the date, but then this morning he liked my status AND my cover photo, so…” What? This is crazy talk. I remember once telling my grandmother about a guy I was interested in. I pulled up his Facebook page and gave her the basic rundown of his interests, hobbies, most attractive photos, etc. After a few minutes of cyber-stalking, she looked up and said, “This is all very nice, dear, but what’s he like face-to-face?” Boom. Grandma knows what’s up. She wanted to hear about a person, not a profile.

5. Because the internet, texting, and social media—as wonderful and entertaining as they are—AREN’T REAL LIFE.

Real life is happening in front of our eyes, with people, places, and things we can see, hear, touch, and smell. The internet-driven world has become our generation’s avenue for escapism; what started off as exploration and a thirst for knowledge has become something surreal and dangerous. We are quickly becoming the addicts, voyeurs, and exhibitionists of the digital age. Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet and the amazing opportunities it presents (the ability to share this article with you, for one). But I can also see that it is a slippery, intoxicating slope. And every so often, we need to consciously choose to go back to the real world. We need to remember how to escape our own escapism.

“You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person.” Louis C.K.
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