Phones should not be your eyes

Joshua Mounts, Opinion Writer

Author Photo

Technology: the double-edged sword. The devices people have access to today both help with everyday life but also serve as a good distraction.

The developments in technology that we have today are beyond the wildest dreams of those even just 30 years ago but the current belief is that the developments may not be as great as they may seem.

Entire computer systems can fit in our pockets and give people the ability to search anything, essentially anywhere on Earth.

Social networking incorporated within the devices we have gives the power to connect with one another across the globe, but it’s things like these social networking applications that have the capability to disconnect people from the world around them.

People monitor their smartphones and their social networks constantly to the point where groups of friends can meet for a meal and not even make eye contact with one another. This is a major problem for real person-to-person contact and engagement in social situations.

Services or applications such as Instagram or Snapchat are fun to use and stay in contact with friends, but services within these apps, such as stories, are doing their own work to further disconnect individuals with the world that goes on around them.

People like to remember and document events, trips, and more as they experience them, but stories are doing something extra toward distracting the users.

Rather than living in the moment, enjoying live concerts or mountainous landscapes, people have their face in their phones snapping pictures or shooting video. They add their filters and captions to the images or videos and post them to their stories, completely losing that potentially intimate or special moment with those around them.

There’s nothing wrong with capturing a video or shooting a few pictures during a vacation, but there could be if it gets to be the predominant activity when you should be enjoying your own life.

The idea of posting excessive Snapchat stories or Instagram posts or stories is a sort of enigma. Whether it’s to prove to others that they have eventful lives or whatever the reason, it’s taking people out of real life and into the virtual world of dog-ear filters and more.

In a world obsessed with “likes” and followers, the stories revolution is seemingly taking over people, their actions and even their lives. This generation of technology is even leading people to begin creating entirely new, fake personalities for their online viewers.

A story titled “Social media is taking over people’s lives, making them create ‘online’ personas different from real life” published by The Daily Telegraph, talks all about this group of people who live their lives through social media.

“Carefully constructing and editing social media content to present a deceptively positive picture of your life has become a thing,” author Dilvin Yasa said. “I’ve noticed some of my friends feel the pressure of trying to live two very different lives.”

It may sound crazy to say people are actually letting social media take over their lives, but according to Yasa, this is actually more prevalent than you may think.

“Some admit they force themselves to undertake particular activities and attend certain events they deem worthy of posting, and others admit to scheduling their days around whether or not they think particular activities would impress their followers and garner likes,” Yasa said.

Even doing something as simple as filling an Instagram post with hashtags could be considered behavior that demonstrates someone seeking for those prestigious likes.

Think about your own life and social media habits; you may even be guilty of some of this behavior as well.

Living life through lenses, this concept of recording rather than enjoying the moment themselves, is leading people to living fake lives. It’s almost as if they’re living their lives for other people rather than for themselves.

As the semester is beginning, think back to your summer break and think if you lived it through a lens. Ask yourself whether you’re living your life for yourself, or for your friends or viewers.

In an increasingly darker-growing world, it’s important for people to live life, live it to the fullest and live it for themselves. Put your phone down and enjoy your surroundings, the time with those close to you and live your life through your own lens.