Y/N: Are cell phones destroying our lives? Obviously no

Photo courtesy of nj.com

Photo courtesy of nj.com

By Isabel Gibson Penrose, Opinions Editor

People love to complain about cell phones – it’s mostly, but not exclusively, old people who constantly grumble and gripe that everybody has a phone, but nobody really talks anymore. I think those people need to take a seat and relax, because cell phones are not bringing about the demise of life as we know it.

I got my first phone when I was in seventh grade – and honestly, I feel like I got it a year too late. Only one of my friends had a phone in sixth grade (shout out to Tess for always letting me use her minutes), and everyone else was constantly borrowing it to call our parents so we could get permission to hang out after school. We used the semi-communal phone to communicate, which is the exact purpose of all phones.

Eight years later I’ve moved from a flip phone without a camera to an incredibly basic rose gold iPhone, but the essential function of the device is the same.

I can communicate, and I do frequently. Instagram, Skype, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and good old calling and texting all let me keep in touch with tons of people that I love, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

I am never going to look back on my life and wish I had fewer pictures of sunsets, my friends and loved ones, the cool places I’ve been or pretty cupcakes I have baked.

I am grateful I can easily stay in touch with people who live thousands of miles away from me. I love that when I have a song stuck in my head or can’t remember the name of that guy from that movie that came out in 2008 (probably Jude Law) I can find it within a few seconds.

And yes, sometimes I spend a little too much time worrying about my likes on Instagram or checking my phone to see if my boyfriend has texted me back, but acting like the cellphone generation invented frivolous worries is ridiculous.

Before the cell phone one waited by the landline for someone to call and read the newspaper to avoid talking to people on the bus. Before that one waited every day for a letter from the mailman and also read the newspaper because newspapers have been around for forever. And before that people probably assumed a dragon had intercepted and eaten the carrier pigeon that was bringing a response from their beloved, though I don’t know for sure; I’m not a communications historian.

It’s also ridiculous to act like phones are bringing about the social interaction apocalypse. I never use my phone to avoid enjoyable social situations, I use it to play Candy Crush when my friends are late to meet me in the Commons or pretend to text while I’m walking past someone I hate, and these are wonderful uses. Thank you, cell phones, for saving me from awkward eye contact and being bored.

There are, of course, legitimate concerns about the prolonged use of cell phones. What might the extensive radiation exposure do to people? How will the new ways we find and process information change our brains? But the next time someone comes up to me when I’m on my phone and starts to complain about the youth and their cell phones, I’m definitely faking a call. “Hello? Oh, it’s someone who’s actually interesting? I have to take this.”

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Author: Web Editor

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