It’s so sweet to live in the midst of the technological revolution.
The evolution of the smartphone has revolutionized the way we study, plan and how we interact with our peers. But the latter is not always for the better. We’ve all been there, likely as the perpetrator rather than the victim.
You’re grabbing lunch with some friends. The waitress just took your order: extra chili cheese, please. Immediately, without hesitation, Lauren over there in the corner whips out her phone and starts scrolling through her Twitter timeline. That’s just a spark to the wildfire. Before you can say anything, Alex, to your left, is texting some cute girl he met in his anthropology class.
Meanwhile, you’re left searching for someone to talk to who isn’t related to Heinz ketchup. The salt and pepper don’t seem to be too responsive either.
This situation is annoying. And I attest to being the culprit more times than I am proud of.
Technological innovation is being regarded as the phenomenon of our generation. Generation Y is closely identified with tweets, “likes,” and the amount of followers we have. People a few generations removed are saying that our close attachment to our iPhones is hindering our communications skills. Some even go the extent that these new tools do more harm than good.
This is a rash judgment.
Smartphones and social media are not the problem; a lack of self-control is the problem.
If you’re going to argue that technology is detrimental, then you must also be willing to dismiss all its benefits.
Do we really want to go back to answering emails solely on our computers, taking pictures with a gigantic Nikon and communicating with our significant others via AIM? (Insert cheesy username here).
The technological revolution has provided enormous practical benefits. Most notably, it helps us save time amidst an already-hectic college schedule.
Facebook and Instagram allow us to keep in touch with friends from around the country in a quick relevant manner. Twitter serves as a wellspring of news, current events and MSU police alerts.
For me, my iPhone gives me immediate access to life-giving food. The YouVersion Bible App, along with other soul-satisfying resources, is available at my fingertips. Why do I allow myself to be distracted by #throwbackthursday when God’s truth is a click away?
If you believe in condemning iPhones and Twitter, you imply that there is something inherently detrimental in these devices. But is that true? I don’t think so.
You remember that good ole’ saying, “too much of anything is a bad thing?” That statement alludes to the problem.
Most of the apps on our smartphones are beneficial, but they are detrimental if we allow ourselves to be dominated by them. And the hinge that determines the distraction potency of our tweets and notifications is our self-discipline.
Proverbs 25:28 says, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Vulnerable and impotent.
Discipline is choosing what we want most over what we want now . Social media and smartphones are revolutionary. The key to utilizing these means to their maximum benefits is to wield them under the gird of self-control. We must tame all desires for banality. There’s no magic formula. Just plain hard work. I have to put the phone away. I might have to delete some apps.
Avoid social networking on the weekends, or perhaps one day of the week. We all should try it. You won’t die. Neither will your followers. If you’re going to be with your friends, be completely there. They want to spend time with you, not your forehead.
We have to realize that banality is the impetus to wasted time. And the opportunities of college are too great to allow ourselves to be distracted by Vines and emojis.
Derek Kim is a journalism junior. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.