VOICES: Cell phone addiction accelerating with COVID-19 pandemic

Category:  Opinions
Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 2:19 PM
VOICES: Cell phone addiction accelerating with COVID-19 pandemic by Steven McGarvie
Photo: Pexels.com

I recently took a trip to New Orleans for a wedding, and while sitting in the airport I had a sudden realization. Most people’s lives revolve around their cell phones. This may be old news, but for me, I never quite realized just how important cell phones are to people in today’s day and age. 

The trip was the most I’ve been around people since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And while this technology addiction existed before, during quarantine, the only thing most people had to keep them company were these electronic devices. They even worked or attended class over a screen. We all got used to not being able to see or talk to people in person.

Mind you, I’m not one to talk, as my friends always get on me about being on my phone too much. For me, it’s a little different though as I’m not a huge social media guy; I just use my phone for a lot of things, such as typing essays for school or checking my bank statements. 

While anxiously awaiting my flight home from Denver International Airport, I scanned the area and was shocked when I saw nearly every person on their cell phone. The few that were not distracted by technology: sleeping. Instead of having a conversation with whoever they were traveling with, practically everyone in the airport was glued to their screens.

Society has become so attached to cell phones that almost every person on my flights used their phones up until the very last second before the plane took off, and then pulled their phones back out the second it landed. I understand that most of these people were probably contacting loved ones to tell them they were taking off or landed safe, but the amount of people I saw do this was fascinating.

Even while in the French Quarter in downtown New Orleans, so many people were on their phones while walking around. I hope these people were taking pictures or documenting the beautiful scenery, and not sending meaningless Snapchats and missing out on everything NOLA has to offer.

During the wedding, my phone died and I couldn’t have been happier. I am one of these people that is addicted to their phone and not having it available to me for a few hours was shockingly enjoyable. Instead of worrying about social media, I was able to enjoy the company of people and dance the night away.  

Without technology, we would certainly not be able to do things that we’re accustomed to doing. And I’m not saying these advancements are a bad thing. I just think that society is getting a little too comfortable letting technology help them with their daily routine. Meanwhile, the art of human interaction is dying quickly.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so many aspects of the human life. Hopefully, it doesn’t fast forward our comfort (and addiction) with cell phones. 

Steven McGarvie is a staff writer for The Spectator. He can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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