Phones kill conversations

Bella Tollestrup-Wimbish


Times were simpler when we were little. No responsibilities, no worries and, perhaps most significantly, we didn’t have phones to distract us.

Seemingly everywhere I go there is someone on some type of technological device, typing away, ignoring the outside world. Phones take up a good portion of our lives. We waste time on a phone, time that could be spent with loved ones or on doing something to improve ourselves.

According to a new study by market-research group Nielsen, American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to, or simply just interacting with media.

We spend more time staring at a screen than we do having a conversation with a person we care about. We allow this technological world to take up our time. Instead of focusing on the people around us, we focus on a screen.

We don’t have conversations like we used to because we are too busy looking at something on social media that we will forget about within weeks. I sometimes feel like I am having a conversation with a person and their phone.

The connection between two souls is often not as strong as what it used to be because of the distraction of a screen.

What happened to eye contact and emotional connection with another person?
I admit that I’m not an exception from this behavior. There are times when someone will be talking to me and all I do is respond with a quick murmur and continue mindlessly scrolling through a feed, something that is clearly the least important thing I could be looking at in that situation.

Then when I look up and see that person looking at me with annoyance because I don’t care enough to put my phone away and listen, I realize that I am in the wrong.

I want to be able to connect with someone without a phone being there. I want to build friendships and relationships without the distraction of a phone.

When I put my phone away and listen, I realize the true power of conversation, how meaningful it is to focus on someone and what they have to say. In these moments, I see clearly the depth that a conversation is supposed to have and how significant it can be to a person.

Real conversations heal people, real human connection warms the heart and reminds us that the things that really matter at the end of the day still exist.

Even though we are growing increasingly immersed into this technologically advanced world, we have to remember that we still have connections that exist outside of a screen.

We have to remember to sit back and smell the roses.

Another negative effect of spending all our time on a phone can have is that it takes us away from expanding our creativity.

I find myself scrolling through my phone when I realize that I could be writing in a journal, reading a book, improving my guitar skills, doing something else besides sitting on a phone.

Looking at a screen all day does nothing for my growth as a person or my mind. It fries my brain, makes me feel bored, and I end up regretful about how I am decided to go about my day.

A phone is there to assist us with our daily lives, it is not there to take up all of our time. Time that we will never get back. Having our reality blurred is not worth the simple satisfaction we get from staring at memes for an hour.

That is why I have to remind myself to put my phone to the side and appreciate the outside world. Ignoring my phone reminds me about what really gives meaning to life.

I encourage everyone to put their phones aside, or even forget it at home and just enjoy being alive. Do not think about your notifications going off constantly reminding you about the world in your pocket when you are too busy interacting on the real world around you.

Remember to look the person you’re talking to in the eye, ask them questions, and care enough about them to put your phone away.