Disconnecting from our phones
by Stacy Sukharevsky on Friday, June 5th, 2015
In the past decade alone, our need to surround ourselves with technology at all times has increased drastically. Teenagers are constantly connected to their electronic devices because companies such as Apple are creating new, more technologically advanced ways for us to do so. Once in a while, we stumble upon a video that highlights the importance of staying off of our phones. We feel inspired, and for a few moments we are able to pry our eyes away from our precious screens, but we can’t help but shortly return to the world of virtual connections and social media.
Disconnecting from our phones is easier said than done. Beginning in the late 2000s, when Android phones and iPhones were first created, the mobile phone stopped being just a portable telephone.
Now, however, telephones are not used exclusively to make calls. Technology has become so advanced that phones are now small computers, able to carry out the same functions as a laptop. If asked, most students at Milton Academy would agree that they use their phone in equal parts to communicate and to use social media. An anonymous freshman I talked to even turned off her phone’s ability to make and receive calls, as she prefers texting and Snapchat.
How do we fix our dependency and over-attachment to our phones? A company called Light offers one possible solution: the Light Phone, a “phone away from phone.” This device is a mobile phone that only makes calls and tells the time. The phone is about the size of a credit card, and its front display has almost no buttons. The screen lights up to reveal a touch screen, which can be used to dial phone numbers, check the time and accept incoming calls. For individuals who already have a smartphone, Light installed an “app” that allows incoming calls to a smartphone to be forwarded to the Light Phone. This way, we can leave our smartphones at home while remaining connected to other people technologically.
Light has commendably attempted to restore the telephone to its original use, yet I believe that the technological world is so advanced that we may never again be able to communicate exclusively through phone calls. Disconnecting from our phones could substantially improve our world, but it would take tremendous effort from mobile phone users around the globe. Most teenagers could not “survive” without their smartphones in their pockets every day. It is undoubtedly easier to talk about and promote the idea of disconnecting from our mobile phones than it is to actually disconnect.
The idea of disconnecting from our phones and living more meaningfully especially resonates with Milton students. Two years ago, Merritt Levitan (’13) was killed when a texting driver hit her bike. Students deeply affected by her death responded by establishing the campaign “Text Less, Live More.” Since Merritt’s death, the campus-wide support of the organization has faded. “I think people are beginning to forget about the meaning and importance of the campaign”, states Natalie Wamester (IV), a member of the “Text Less, Live More” board. “One of our goals for next year is to rekindle the commitment that we had in the first two years of the campaign and remind everyone what it means to people.”
Sadly, a 2×4 inch screen has begun to dictate our lives. If we continue to try to capture life through a screen, we will realize too late that our lives have whizzed by without our noticing.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=7157