Everyday when I wake up I check my phone. I look at my text messages, then my Instagram, then Snapchat. Instagram and Snapchat are both apps. Instagram you can load pictures and edit them to post. Snapchat you can send pictures to others that they can only see for a few seconds before it erases. Who knows if I got a message during the night that I missed? Or someone uploaded pictures from last night and I didn’t go out so I need to see them. One of my friends could have sent me a picture through Snapchat that I didn’t respond to. I have never thought of myself as being obsessed with technology but I think that’s only because that’s all I’ve ever know. My generation has simply been taught to adapt to the new technology around us. It’s almost like we don’t have a choice of not owning a cell phone or a laptop. When I took one day to observe how people communicate with face-to-face communication and technology I was stunned.
I chose to observe people’s interactions on Tuesday September 25. I noticed that people are communicating all the time even when nothing is said. First, with technology people are always texting between classes, sometimes never even looking up to see what they might run in to. I even caught myself doing that for a moment after class walking to my dorm. Also when people are waiting for class to begin outside the room no one speaks especially if it is in the early morning. I have an eight o’clock class on Tuesday as well and before the class I always see people outside sitting waiting to go into the classroom. Although there are many people no one speaks. Everyone is one their smart phone most likely doing what I do every morning or playing a game that of course they can’t put down to say hello to anyone. Technology consumes our lives.
I am the type of person to always say hi to someone when I walk by, even if I don’t know him or her that well. This day I had a lot of people looking down at their phones and I say hello but they are no idea because they are not looking up! Having no interaction with anyone but their smartphone (who now seems to be a person). What I also found is that there are people who do interact face-to face. I observed that when people talk face-to-face they are still using their phones. While they are having one conversation they are having another on their phone. Two-way communication? I don’t get it. Although this is true I also observed some natural face-to-face communication. Usually this is right before a class starts sitting in the room or outside on the quad enjoying the nice weather. It is possible for our generation to have a one-on-one conversation. I felt that I communicated more face-to-face I do use my phone but I love to just talk to people and see how they are doing. I would call a friend about homework or my Mom to see how she is but I didn’t sit on my phone all day. Body language and also dress was interesting to observe.
One’s clothing says a lot about whom they are as well as the way they carry themselves. I saw some students wearing leggings and a sweatshirt cuddled up reading a book, which to me implied they were letting people know it was a cozy chill day for them. On the opposite side I saw I observed people dressed to the nine. These categories of people were wearing flats jeans and maybe a blazer with their hair curled and a latte in hand, can’t forget the latte. For me I have both days I love to dress up and feel good about myself. On these days I tend to get more work done, but I also love to be cozy which was what I was on Tuesday. For body language I could see in some of my classes people were hunched over yawning and sneezing communicating that they are sick or tired. On the other hand some people were sitting up straight answering questions before they were asked, which communicated to me that they were in a cheerful mood ready to learn. People communicated in all different ways. I realized how I communicate when I took that hour in the day to shut down all electronics. I have to say I did not sweat in a panic at all. I did my homework and read some of a biography for one of my classes. Did I go to hit my phone a couple times yes, but then I realized it was off. It seemed as I wasn’t pressing my phone to see who called or such but to see what time it was. I sometimes where a watch bit when I’m comfy doing work I take it off. I realized that I didn’t feel the need to communicate through electronics because I had all my friends I would need to talk to in the same hall. I seemed to communicate the same ways I do most of the day talking with my friends and going to their rooms to say hi. When I went back to using technology after the hour was over I noticed I did use my phone but was more concentrated on my schoolwork.
At times I do think that I rely on technology but its not always because I want to. For classes we need laptops for research and papers and such. Also moodle is online which is where we receive all of our information for our classes. At night went I was getting ready for bed I ended my day the same way I started I by checking my messages and looking at my apps. Observing the way people communicate and by taking an hour break from all contacts was most definitely a learning experience.