The term social networking is used so often in today’s society that the majority of technology users think they grow socially as fast as their friends-list expands. A short ride on a public bus or train tells a completely different story. On one side of the bus sits a group of friends that are supposed to be hanging out together, yet all they do is play with their cell phones, text other friends, or browse YouTube. On the opposite side of the bus lies a group of strangers completely engrossed in their music, blocking all attempts at communication by placing ear buds in their ears. Why, if technology is meant to bring us together and allow humans to socialize, do we use it instead to socially isolate ourselves? The solution is simple: put down the cell phones, take the ear buds out, and talk to your neighbor. Put that silicon comfort-blanket in your pocket and speak to the person next to you. Remind yourself that the stories and lessons learned by that person are invaluable when compared to the weather forecast or the latest Facebook update.
With technology so easily at hand, the majority of us have become increasingly dependent on these number crunching devices. When the waiter so politely lays down the bill, we reach for the cell phone to use our “tip calculator” to calculate the tip instead of making the simplest ten percent conversion in our head. Earlier in that dinner scenario at least one person paused and read an email or text from a friend that absolutely could not wait until after dinner. It has become commonplace to interrupt a friends conversation in order to pull out the cell phone and check email, or “Google” a fact pertinent to the conversation at hand. I remember dinner at the family table being a ritual worthy of no interruptions: a time to enjoy and socialize on a personal level after a hectic day.
At this point, I could point out causes ranging from lax parental guidance, to ignorant teenagers looking for the...