It’s 7:15, and you’ve got to be out the door in less than two minutes to ensure you won’t be late for work. You do a quick check for the essentials: keys, wallet and, last but not least, your cell phone. A small panic ensues when you realize it’s not in your back pocket. After a few seconds of searching, you realize it’s in your front pocket, and the crisis has been averted. Cell phones have become more than just a way to reach people who are away from their homes. They have become crucial for day-to-day life for most people, no matter what generation they are from. Most people who have office jobs find themselves using technology for a majority of their working life. Whether it’s the computer at their desk or the video conference equipment that’s carted out during meetings, they are rarely asked to do anything that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a glowing, buzzing device. This behavior often carries over into their home life. The use of technology has become an addiction.

Graphic by Maddy VanOrman
Graphic by Maddy VanOrman

We can’t pull ourselves away from our cell phones, laptops, desktops, tablets or any other electronic device we prefer to have within arm’s reach at any given time. We feel like we’re somehow missing out on a great party that everyone’s attending except for us. When we try to pull away from our devices from time to time, we end up cracking and using them more than we would have in the first place, as if we are trying to make up for lost time. We need to take the time to put our devices aside and find time for ourselves and the ones we love. However the saying ‘easier said than done’ can be appropriately applied here. Even if it is hard, we must step away because the consequences that arise from using technology too much can spread to all facets of one’s life. Technology is amazing. It has taken a world that was once closed off and turned it into a place where people are able to get in touch with anyone by simply clicking a button. However, as amazing as technology can be, there is nothing more annoying than sitting across from someone who’s texting while they are supposed to be conversing with you. You want them to realize that the texts will be there when you both leave, but the moment in front of them is something that cannot be reclaimed. People don’t want to get away from their devices because they feel like they will have nothing to replace them. They would rather jeopardize their personal relationships in an effort to post on their social media pages or check their emails. The beautiful thing about the people with whom you communicate on your phone is that they all have lives too. If they take more than a few seconds to respond, odds are that they’re doing something else. Our dependence on technology won’t just go away. Devices become increasingly more powerful with each passing year. Their new features are aimed at making our lives that much easier while introducing complications into the mix. At some point, we will come upon a time where we rely more on technology than ever before, if we haven’t already. Imagine what it would be like to leave all your devices at home and enjoy a day with your family without constantly checking a small, notification-populated screen. While technology can and should be utilized in our lives, there is also a benefit to setting aside the cell phone, tablet or computer for a few hours and unplugging, if only for an evening.

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