Put your phone away

By DREW LACOUTURE

Editorial Editor 

OPINION— They cause car accidents, they can damage people’s vision and they make outings with love ones a waste of time.

Many people, and in particular millennials, are constantly being told by their parents and the media that they are using their phones too much.

This is definitely true, yet most people cannot function without their phones for more than a day. At the same time, if you are in a public place to eat or socialize, a phone should not be needed in most cases.

When people are at restaurants or at the dinner table, they use a device instead of talking to the person they are with.

They might be checking their social media accounts, emailing for work or looking at it to ignore the other person.

What should be a fun one on one outing inevitably ends up turning into a silent, awkward and objectively cringe worthy event to watch.

This is occurring with husbands and wives, mother and daughters, children, grandparents and best friends.

This is not just a problem for younger generations. A study in Today found that “54 percent of kids think their parents check their devices too often.”

While this may seem like a small habit avid phone users have, they cannot distinguish phone time from alone or social time with friends and family.

However, cell phones have an even stronger effect then people know.

In the journal titled Psychology of Popular Media Culture, a study was conducted on several hundred college students. It examined their dependency on their smartphone, and their relationship status.

It was found that people who were more dependent on their smartphones reported being less certain about their partnerships.

There are countless articles and studies that say cell phones are destroying family life. Just keeping the cell phones turned off during dinner can make a huge difference.

If there is tension at the dinner table, or the person whose cell phone is out of sight is unwilling to talk, it is still better to keep the phone away and attempt to spark a conversation.

There are a few exceptions to this.

If someone is checking Snapchat stories while also holding a solid conversation, their phone can stay out, although not for the entire outing.

Furthermore, it is totally acceptable for someone to show some baby pictures, check the time or quickly text someone back.

Whether it is a first date or a reunion of old friends, people need to communicate with their loved ones before these bad cell phone habits develop.

Cell phones are a necessary part of American lives, for both leisure and career endeavors. Yet when you decided to spend time with someone, the phone notifications can wait.

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