Technology: A Necessary Evil

Laura Nicolescu, Reporter

The sound students have been waiting for since they came to school was finally heard: the loud, clear ringing of the 4:10 bell. Students rush out of their classrooms with their heads bowed as in prayer. None of them are praying, however, at least to any god of any religion—they are worshipping the cell phone.

I look around the hallway and realize that the students appear to have sprouted a new body part. Headphones of all shapes, sizes and colors are now a part of students’ ears as if they are growing on them. Texting and walking has become a new sport, a silent, subconscious competition between students to see who can walk the farthest without tripping or bumping into something. Few conversations are going on, and the few I heard are along the lines of “will you retweet my tweet?”

I sigh and shake my head and begin my daily journey to my locker, along which I hear about a dozen more of these so-called conversations. Next I hear people talking in hashtags to each other or talking in texting language (lol). Some carry an actual verbal conversation with their friends (omg) but every other word coming out of their mouth is a profanity, their language worse than what’s in rap songs. I too, feeling pressured by those around me, take out my phone and send an innocent text to my mom asking who’s going to pick me up, until I finally reach my locker.

While an important, necessary part, there’s more to life than technology, and embracing that can guarantee a happier, more fulfilling time on this world.

— Laura Nicolescu

On my long trek to my mom’s car I muse over this every day experience I have at school. I realize that in every spare moment, every time the teacher’s back is turned, the students in my class hunch over and grow a long pair of thumbs that move at an incomprehensible speed across the screen of their precious cell phones, the brightness turned all the way down thinking no one sees them, even though everybody still can. Some of these students can go an entire day without ever looking up. This got me wondering- who has that many people that can text them every minute of the day? In addition, every time the teacher gives the class something to do on their own, someone always asks if they can listen to music, not for any good reason since the majority of the class is already doing so anyway. The classroom immediately fills with a low droning of everybody’s music deafening their ears, a head-splitting mix of sounds.

It used to be that no one could go to school without their pencil bag, binders and backpack. Now those previously must-have items are replaced by the modern world’s must-have items: a phone, headphones, and of course, the cherished charger. Does anybody remember BYOD? Bring your own device day used to be a special day for students as they would borrow their parent’s phones and use them at school. Now, every day is BYOD day as no one would dare forget to bring their most precious cargo. Backpack, yes. Homework, maybe. Brain, definitely. But phone? Never!

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I love music and I love my phone. Couldn’t live without it. In fact, my entire life is on that phone- if I broke it, it would feel as though my life was broken. I couldn’t go a day without wifi and find myself freaking out when I’m in a dead zone. Very rarely am I more than five feet away from my phone, at any time of day, including at night since I sleep next to my phone. Reluctantly I’ll admit that the first thing I do, after the fifth snooze of my alarm clock in the morning, is take my phone with me to the bathroom and check my texts, emails, and of course, my celebrity gossip to see what shocking event could’ve happened in the eight hours I was sleeping.

I am not, however, on any form of social media. I am very aware of its existence, and all the things trending on it right now (by the way, the dress is white and gold) and know it is a great way to stay in touch with news and communicate with friends. However, it is starting to become blown out of proportion and a distraction to everyone. If I had accounts on social media, whether it’d be Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, I would follow a hundred celebrities and two hundred random people and never be off my phone to do anything else. Homework, grades and any non-technology related interests I have would take a backseat to the antics of Kim Kardashian, as I see this happening to all kinds of people. As tempting as it is, I prefer to look around and enjoy life through my own eyes, not through the eyes of a cell phone.

I enjoy using my phone just as much as the next person, but prefer to spend some time disconnecting, looking around me, and enjoying the world I live in. To get away from the rush of the school day, I like to go on nature walks in the nearest park on the weekends with my family. Even there every runner or bicycler I pass has some form of technology attached to them, blaring their music instead of listening to the sounds of nature. As I put my phone in my pocket, take my headphones out of my ears and talk to my parents, I realize that they are genuinely nice people, and that I should talk to them more often. Communication with loved ones is an important part of life, and a verbal conversation with someone can be worth so much more than a text or even a phone call.

Call me old-school, but before I go to sleep, I put my phone down and pick up an actual book made of paper, that stuff that comes from trees, trees being those tall, brown and green things that people may bump into while texting and walking. I read for half an hour, then with my mind at rest, go to sleep. What I try to do, and encourage everybody to do, is disconnect for a little while, be it an hour or ten minutes. Look up, look around you, and see that colors are brighter through your own eyes than on a screen. Wake up and smell the roses- literally, go smell a rose bush and clear your head, even if it’s just for a few minutes. While an important, necessary part, there’s more to life than technology, and embracing that can guarantee a happier, more fulfilling time on this world.