Love affair with technology interfering with human relationships

Carly Yamrus, Opinion Editor

As I sat down for my first class of the semester, I looked around the room at my fellow classmates. I glanced from person to person and quickly noticed that I was one of the only people that weren’t transfixed by a screen.

Now I am definitely not behind the times and I thoroughly enjoy the devices I own, but I can’t help but feel that our lives are being consumed by constant entertainment. I am just as guilty as the next person, but at least I am aware that this is a concern in our rapidly advancing society.

With all the different devices on the market, it is not hard to find an activity to occupy ones time. But when those devices start interfering with human relationships, I think we might have a problem.

All too often I see people with their heads down texting, completely unaware of the world around them. Before classes, the cellphones come out in last attempts to message friends before the professor arrives.

Nowadays, we are able to keep connected just about everywhere we go with 3G and 4G networks and wireless technology. There are “apps” for just about everything – most of the most popular ones being mindless games and social networking sites.

Even books are on a screen now, and although I love my Amazon Kindle, I do at times feel guilty that I swipe my screen instead of turning a page.

But what if we just looked up from our screen once in a while? I am wondering if anyone knows how to have a conversation anymore. Instead of using those 2 minutes waiting in line to play the Scrabble-esque word game “Words with Friends” or tweeting that you are standing in line, what if we actually talked to the person next to us? Who knows, a legitimate conversation may actually take place.

Our generation hides behind their devices for a variety of reasons. The screen has become an excuse. See someone you know but don’t want to be bothered with talking to them? Not a problem. Whip out the phone and pretend to be in the middle of a very important conversation.

My personal favorite is getting into an elevator and seeing everyone take that awkward moment of proximity as the best time to check Facebook and Twitter … both in the same newsfeed, of course.

It is sad to think that our generation has a decreasing amount of social skills – all thanks to our tablets and cellphones that we would probably die without. It is sad how most of us would probably go through withdrawal if one of these devices were – wait for it – left at home for more than an hour.

Technology has become our generation’s way of life, but there is so much more to life than pixels on a screen. So pick your head up once in a while, I promise you will see the world better that way.