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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Are we friends with people, or phones?

The app Find My Friends recently caught my attention. I thought it was a novel thing to be able to see what my friends were up to. However, upon texting a friend to ask if he went home from work to make lunch that day, it struck me as to just how creepy and unnecessary being constantly aware of what my friends are doing really is.

There are now countless apps and social media websites that allow an insight into our friends’ and followers’ lives.

You can like a friend’s photo of the Grand Canyon on Instagram, like it again on Facebook along with a location-based “check-in” and then see your friend posing in front of the North Rim, yet again on their Snapchat Story. Just in case you weren’t sure, you can send them a quick text to verify that they are, in fact, at the Grand Canyon.

An article from CNN states that teens spend almost nine hours a day checking social media. That is more time than they spend sleeping, learning or socializing with peers. Not only is the excessive amount of time spent on social media keeping teens from socializing with friends, it’s also affecting their ability to focus on themselves. How many teenagers obsessively check Instagram instead of reading or pursuing an extracurricular activity?

This is not just an issue with teenagers, though. It is also reflected in our generation.

There have been several times when my friends were all gathered together for dinner, yet no one spoke to one another because everyone’s face was buried deep into their phone screen.

Some people our age are almost incapable of holding a conversation in person with their friends; everything has already been shared through texting and social media. It’s as if we all want to be as involved in our friends’ lives as possible, yet our phones make us anti-social when we’re actually present in our friends’ lives.

In previous generations, there was not this sense of instant gratification. It is incredible to be able to instantly contact a friend across the world, but it’s teaching younger generations that they don’t have to wait for anything. They don’t have to wait for a letter to come in the mail or for their parents to be done using the Internet to call up their friends.

Social media is by no means evil. It allows contact with people you might not get to see every day and an easy way to communicate with friends in other countries. That does not repair the damages of its excessive presence in our lives, though.

Academic pursuits and relationships should not be replaced by hours on Facebook and Instagram, and actual face-to-face conversations should not be replaced by newsfeeds and retweets. Friends cannot be replaced by phones and interactions should not happen solely though screens.

Follow Nicole Rochon on Twitter

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