To connect or disconnect?

Amanda Samujh and her friends went to Disneyland for their senior trip and realized one of their friends was constantly on her phone—even on the rides. They told her to get off her phone because it was their last trip before they went off on their separate ways, but she attempted to hide it and continue using it.

Phones are wireless devices to connect and communicate with others. It’s a way to associate with one another electronically, just like using mail without taking such a long period of time, in which it has shown how different people behave with mobile devices and what it’s done to them.

“Everyone wants to feel like their connected, but sometimes I don’t think it’s good because you really lose fact of what happening in the real world instead of just what’s on Instagram and stuff,” Samujh said. “I think now people get a little too obsessed with their phones.”

Skyline professor Jessica Hurless believes cell phones enable convenience to stay connected with a form of instant feedback. She gave an example how a cell phone user could check e-mails, texting, social media all at the same time, but it can be hard to disconnect.

Our mobile devices can lead us to information, communication, social media, and etc., but it can also teach us how to connect verbally, in which we aren’t really communicating face-to-face.

“Sometimes what we are lacking is the empathy and understanding of one another, because we are generally just talking to a screen, which lacks the human emotion and nonverbal communication that is required for successful verbal communication skills,” Hurless said in an e-mail.

Skyline professor Danielle Powell believes the reason why people are on their mobile devices are to connect with others, to get information they need, checking their social medias, look at people they like to follow, and etc.

“If you’re in a public space; like on a subway, train, bus, in a public space and by yourself, a lot of people do it because you are alone and its a way to not feel awkward,” Powell said. “Cause now-a-days, you know I grew up in a time—I’m old enough where people didn’t have cellphones, so if we were in a public space we either read a book, we struck a conversation with someone next to us, and we just sat and we thought about—you know reflect on our day, but we didn’t have these devices to distract us so primary people do it they just need to see whats going on.”
Powell said if we didn’t have cellphones today, it would be more like when she was our age. Since there wasn’t any cellphones during her time, people would talk more with each other and write letters. They would wait near the phone to talk to someone.

A good example of someone who is constantly on their phone is from the ABC show Selfie. A girl named Eliza, who was famous through social media, only cared about herself. She never interacted with people at work, home, etc. She only concerned herself about what her followers thought. One of her co-workers, Henry, tried to help her be more out there and care for other people she didn’t know such as other co-workers, neighbors, and etc. She started realizing that she was actually changing into a better person because of him. The show was recently cancelled.

“We are so focused on ourselves and our screens that we forget the humans that are standing right next to us,” Hurless said in an e-mail.