We live in a world where communication through modern technology is required. Can you imagine not being able to check any of your messages or social media for a week?
In the past decade, smartphones have risen to the top of the technology totem pole. According to a Pew Research Survey observing smartphone ownership conducted in November 2016, around three quarters of Americans own smartphones, and that number is only rising.
We have instant access to the internet, personal photos and tools for school and work. But with all these capabilities it’s easy to forget that phones were originally only meant for one thing: talking.
We’ve come a long way from the corded phones of old, but do the smartphones that are meant to help us stay connected actually hinder our communication? It could be argued that with everything keeping our eyes down, the most vital parts of communication are missed when looking up. People are often so invested in the digital lure of apps on their 5-inch screen that they hardly notice the world around them.
It’s true that smartphones make it easier to connect with more people, but when looking at words on a screen, vital human connections are missed, such as tone of voice, body movement and eye contact. Without the whole story in front of us, miscommunication is almost certain–and so is tripping down the stairs when we aren’t paying attention.
It’s easy to let notifications distract from classes, parties and dates, but they shouldn’t be overthrowing the value of face-to-face communication. Smartphones are useful and important, but more important is putting it in your pocket and looking up; only then can you get the whole picture.
Rob Hampson for SUU News