Sometime in the middle of fall quarter my cell phone screen stopped working. For a week, I couldnâ€™t see my texts, screen my calls, or call my friends. I am sure there are other people out there who can relate with my frustration. When it happened to me, you would have thought the world was nearly ending. I felt completely disconnected.
When I look back on that week in my life I am embarrassed by how upset it made me, and even more so by how dependent I had become on my cell phone.
In society today, cell phones are more than a luxuryâ€”they are a necessity. They are so popular that cell phone companies even make special cell phones for children. Although I believe cell phones can be helpful in emergencies, making it easy to get in touch with someone for help, a part of me also feels that we may have taken this technology too far. As a society we have become dependent on, and attached to, our cell phones. At what point does a cell phone stop being a convenience to get through our day, and become our life?
I was given my first cell phone when I was in the ninth grade. I was ecstatic when my parents handed it over. Most of my friends had one alreadyâ€”I felt out of the loop. I loved the freedom my cell phone gave me. I could call and text anyone, anywhere. It felt liberating because it opened up a whole new world of communication. With my cell phone, I was always reachable. Always.
Yet, lately I have felt that always being connected to the people around me is not entirely a good thing. I have become dependent. Whenever I have a problem or question I tend to call or text someone who could help. I have forgotten to look first at myself for a solution; I have forgotten that I have the ability to help myself. With cell phones, we have no reason to break free, to become independent individuals, because we know we can rely on someone answering our call.
What we need, what I need, is a break from technology. We need to put down our cell phones, iPods, laptops, and turn off the television, so that we can take a minute to breathe in the silence. A solitary moment so we can see that life goes on without the technology, a moment to see that our minds can think for themselves.
With so much going on in our hectic schedules, it is hard to remember that it is okay to take a minute to relax, to not be plugged in all the time. Some time to disconnect with the world, and reconnect with ourselves.
I know this is not how it is for all of you out there. For those of you who have not succumbed to the cell phone cult, I applaud you. And for those of you who have, I am right there with you. Although it may be hard, remember, you can always turn it off.