Unless I’m in class, I am rarely without my headphones. My iPod is in my pocket at all times playing music into my ears and shutting out everything around me. I love listening to my music and get withdrawal if I don’t listen to enough Bayside or Saves the Day.
I’ve recently been noticing how isolated people make themselves when they put in their earbuds and press play. The other day I was out shooting for a journalism class; My group and I had to interview random passersby about campus safety. But those random passersby were completely unapproachable. Every one was wearing headphones or staring down at their phone screens and I couldn’t get their attention unless I waved them down and they hurriedly told me they were late for something.
Even approaching someone you know can be uncomfortable if they’re looking at their phones or wearing headphones. You don’t want to feel like you’ve interrupted something by tapping their shoulder and saying “hey.” And having a conversation with someone who is texting can feel one-sided and pointless.
There should be a rule against perpetually walking and texting. The other day a longboarder almost ran me down because they were texting and longboarding. Is it really necessary to take your phone out of your pocket, unlock it, look at your apps, lock it, and put it back in your pocket every few minutes? To add to that, people are on their smartphones when they’re out to eat. Even if they’re sitting and talking with friends, they’re simultaneously refreshing their Twitter feeds.
It’s a shame that our generation is so focused on capturing moments rather than feeling them. Yeah, it’s cool to film a couple of minutes of a concert or snap some pictures of your favorite singer. But determinedly filming a whole set or trying to get the perfect photo can make you miss out on what is actually happening. Dance and sing when the band plays your favorite song. And listen and react, phone in pocket, when someone is trying to talk to you. To finish this up: don’t text and walk down steps, I’ve seen too many …