A Twenty-First Century Normal?

The other day, I received a Snapchat from one of my friends:

Finally a normal person again!

Excited friend was holding an iPhone box. She had been without a phone for a couple days and had just gotten her new one.

Upon seeing this, I felt a little disheartened. I really did. Is this what “normal” has become? This obsession with our technology? This need to constantly have it with us?

I don’t intend to use this post to lament the existence of technology. I think it is incredibly useful in many respects. I wouldn’t be here connecting with all you lovely people in the blogosphere without it.

But still…when did we become so dependent on it? When did it become “not normal” to be attached to our phones, our tablets, our laptops? What’s wrong with going without a phone for a couple days? People lived without phones for centuries…what is so different now?

I’m not saying I’m immune to this; I do it too. The amount of times I’ve caught myself playing 2048 (yes, I still haven’t beaten that game) in the company of FRIENDS is mildly disturbing. It’s something I want to get better yet. WordPress, Facebook, Instagram wont miss me if I take a bit of a break, after all.

There is more to see, more to do in this life than stare at a screen. It’s all too easy to forget that in this day and age.

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A prime example of me looking at my phone instead of my friends (as embarassing as it is, I was actually Snapchatting a friend who was sitting across the table).
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9 thoughts on “A Twenty-First Century Normal?

  1. LOL, that’s a cute photo!
    I come from a time before FaceBook, before Twitter, before smartphones. In fact, computers were pretty uncommon in the nineties here as well. I agree that they are all incredibly convenient and I do love my iPhone. But I miss the old days of calling my best friend and talking for hours, or meeting up and talking for hours without checking Facebook or googling something. I’ve spent the last two weeks without doing much with my phone and I’ve spent almost every waking hour with a very close friend visiting from overseas and it’s been fantastic. We talk for hours about everything in our lives, it’s so refreshing. Part of me feels guilty for not spending much time on Facebook or even here on WordPress, but I am just having such a great time.

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    1. I vaguely remember when cell phones weren’t as popular. I was born in 1993 and got a cell phone when I was 14. I don’t know a world without computers at all…my dad is software test engineer so we always had computers at home. That being said, I do remember a world where technology wasn’t as prominent, though I’ve always been part of a technology world.
      I understand the guilty part, completely. Sometimes I don’t get around to responding to comments on my blog for a day or two just because I’m busy with other things; there’s always that fear of “what if they think I’m ignoring them?”
      It’s really sad if you think about it, because we should be able to get away from our technology without worrying about it!
      Sounds like you had a lovely few weeks without as much technology…I’m actually kind of jealous. 🙂

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  2. Well-said. Also, most people seem to think that owning a cell phone is a necessity. It’s not. It’s a privilege. I’m pro-technology and we have accomplished much with it, but this obsession is at the root of our problems. There is even a mental disorder caused by the absence of our phones. We don’t want to look up, anymore. We don’t want to see there is a world urging us to notice it. Whatever a phone has to show you can’t be better than, say, nature.

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    1. Thank you! I completely agree. People just expect that technology is a necessity that will always be there. It is very much a privilege, though. Not everybody can afford these things and honestly, I think not being so attached to our devices would make us all a little better off. There’s a point between useful and obsessive and many people crossed that bridge to obsessive years ago.

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      1. I’m ashamed to confess that even I have crossed the line but I’m slowing making my way back. Like you said, people have managed without it since the creation of the world. In fact, their inner worlds were rich because of that.

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      2. I would agree. As an introvert, I consider my inner world to already fairly rich. I wonder how much more complex it would be without technology, though. I think awareness is the most important part. So, you might have crossed that line, but at least you are aware of that and are working to make it back. I don’t think many people could say the same. 🙂

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