Are we spending our lives messaging and taking selfies?
Something that I find fascinating is the ‘Live’ event feed on Snapchat. Almost every day there is a different event broadcasted to snap-chatters around the world – each story is usually around 400 seconds long, and what really intrigues me is how there are hundreds of people attending these events, whose immediate reactions is to take a photo or selfie and message it to their friends, rather than put their phones away and actually have fun where they are, with the people around them.
I know for me, when I see a stunning sunset, travel to a different country, meet with friends, or do anything really, my first instinct is to take a picture and put it on Snapchat. 400 MILLION snaps are sent each day, so I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. I was thinking about this the other day – I can very easily get caught up in getting just the right angle or light with my camera that by the time I’m happy with the photo and have posted it - the sun’s already gone down.
When something great happens, instead of enjoying the moment I’m so quick to grab my phone that I often miss it entirely.
This happens with messaging too – wherever I go I’m usually messaging someone, and having my head down all the time means that I miss an awful lot of important and interesting conversation, as well as things happening around me. For example, I came into school and was engaged in messaging a friend; I walked straight across the courtyard, up the steps and into my classroom. I got to my seat, looked up, and there was an entire class of students in the year above me all staring at me… Someone shouts, ‘what are you doing?’ and the teacher gives me death stare from the front of the class. As you can imagine, I got out of there pretty quick, but I was amazed at just how distracted I was with my phone.
During class I do this a lot too – text someone, or check Facebook while the teacher is giving instructions, so when it comes to the task I always have to ask someone to explain what we are doing. A lot of kids do this nowadays, and everyone seems to be finding new hiding places for their phones while in lessons. It’s definitely affected my learning, and with homework it’s the same issue – I can have 7 different homework’s to do yet I decide going on my phone and scrolling through Twitter and Facebook is more worth my time?
Why is it we distract ourselves so much though? There are definitely a number of reasons for this, and I have certainly not gotten to the bottom of all of them. A big one for me though, is that I always seek to be doing something or talking to someone; it allows me to never be really ‘alone’ or feel lonely, but also to prove and show off to others than I’m busy or ‘popular’… There is a game at school especially within girls to be texting as many people (ideally boys) as we can, and for me when I’m not doing something on my phone I feel vulnerable; like others are going to think there’s something wrong with me because I’m alone.
Thing is though, when I do put down my phone, there is SO much more I see, SO much more I learn and SO much more I experience... So is seeming ‘popular’ or posting a photo really worth all the things we can miss when our heads are down.
All of the blogs on From Our Eyes have been written by young people. They are about the kind of issues and problems teenagers face on a constant basis, as well as worldwide epidemics that not only youth, but EVERYONE experiences day to day.