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Are Phones Really Ruining Us?

August 26, 2018

Tons of published articles say phones suck and they’re ruining us. TIME says they’re destroying our relationships.

Do a google search on how it’s ruining our social skills, and you’ll get more articles you know what to do with – explaining how we no longer know how to act.

And how about our communication? Yep, ruined too.

Eyes glued to the phone, we don’t interact. Children don’t know how to socialize.

We’re addicted.

But hang on…let’s think about this for a second…..

How many of you guys grew up watching TV? Or maybe you mindlessly flipped through a teen magazine. What about those hours of Zelda you played and next thing you know you’ve not showered for two days, and your teenage odor is so offensive even the dog runs away from you.

Are phones really an issue?

We love to debate this topic. Ironically, we then go back to looking at our phone.

So, what’s the real problem? The phone? Some of you are likely nodding vigorously right now.

Or, perhaps the more considerable discussion should be our need to be distracted.

On the GaryVee podcast (PodSessions Ep. 8) three youngins’ (as they say in the South)  were the guests, Ty Dillon, Charly Caruso, and Erik Jones.  

Halfway through the podcast, Gary asked them about their social media games, which led to philosophizing whether or not social media is hurting us as a human race (or generally speaking the use of phones) – affecting our relationships, our ability to enjoy life, etc.

Charly claimed it unfortunate that everyone is distracted and staring at their phones.

Gary argued – we have a history of being distracted and this is just the new distraction. Back in the day TV was our thing (and still is). Before that, books and newspapers.

Until then, I hadn’t considered historical distractions. As a kid, I spent hours in my room listening to music. We didn’t have dinners as a family because my brother and I played sports. If we sat as a family, it was in front of the TV.

The point? Is distraction a new thing? Are phones to blame?

Perhaps technology makes distraction easy – it’s more accessible, it’s 24/7. But as Gary pointed out, there are positives to this too.

The kid who gets picked on gets to go home and find his friends and tribe online. Back in the day, he’d go home and cry himself to sleep because he was a geek nobody liked.

 

So, are we more distracted? Maybe. But also perhaps – technology makes it visible we don’t want to talk to one another in the first place.

Are we supposed to talk to each other non-stop?

Before phones, I’d see couples sitting at dinner awkwardly not speaking or a family that didn’t like each other, so nobody spoke.

The point? The phone isn’t the issue, but maybe relationships are. Which by the way, nobody wants to admit. It’s easier to blame the new technology than to think about why you even want to be on your phone in public, at dinner, at a party, or on the subway.

For me, when I’m doing something I love or around my friends and family who I LOVE I don’t think about my phone – it’s like it doesn’t exist.

Do you have anything that’s so fun you forget about your phone? Do you have anybody who you enjoy being with so much that the phone is not even a thought?

If not, maybe we should think about what’s missing instead of arguing phones are taking down the human race.

And by the way – we’re not the first generation to have something come along that people thought would ruin us. Think Elvis; his hip shaking was the end of the world!


And yes, I do know there’s research on this topic. But before you jump on me with the data- think about it on your terms. Don’t let society beat you into doom and gloom about phones.

And as  Gary Vaynerchuk says, think of the positives it provides.

We can get anywhere in the world with our phones – that’s increasing our experiences. As mentioned, the geek at school now has an online tribe. People have cool jobs blogging and vlogging – it’s creating jobs! Mom can have a sanity break from her day while little Sammy watches the iPad.

 

It’s not all bad – let’s focus on the positives, shall we?

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