Has your phone brought you closer to your loved ones?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Okay, so I’ve already talked about how our phones could potentially turn us all into socially awkward people by having our noses buried in them 24/7, but now it’s time to take a look on the other end of the spectrum. While phones have a tendency to make us less sociable in person, inside that tiny (or large) device is an entire social universe just waiting to be discovered. So in many ways, our phones could potentially bring us closer to people we might not have been able to be close with otherwise.
We can start from the beginning. Before a time when everybody had a cellphone, if you wanted to call up a crush it was about 70% likely that you would have to talk to mom or dad before you got to speak to said crush. Talk about nerve-racking! But with cell phones (and, subsequently, texting) I have to say it was about ten million times easier to talk to my crush than it would have been otherwise. Plus, I have the added stability of being able to type a well-thought out and clever text than do my usual “Abadeahabadeahabadeah,” babbling that I tend to do when trying to actually vocalize my opinion. Some people in this world are gifted with quality speech; some people (like me) are not, so for that I thank texting for making it easier to come across as intelligent to some people.
On a more serious note, with our phones it’s easier to maintain long-distance relationships. Not necessarily romantic relationships, but all kinds of relationships. Our phones are good for connecting families that live in different cities, or even different countries; families that have members going through deployment; students going off to college, etc. Through text messaging and other apps like Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and more we are able to basically share our entire lives with whomever we choose to share them with.
Of course, there are more ways than just through apps and texting where we can connect with those around us – we also have that one feature that I tend to take for granted the most: the actual phone itself. While texting and Facebooking might be the most convenient for my lifestyle, nothing can compare to actually hearing the voice of somebody that you care about. Having the access to call just about anybody at the push of a button is a comforting feeling that I wouldn’t want to give up if I don’t have to.
Photos, videos, voicemails, and text messages are all things that can both bring us closer together and push us farther apart – it all depends on how you use it and using them at the right times. If you’re far away from each other, shoot each other a text or give them a ring. When you’re sitting across the table from each other on a date, it might not be the best time to see what your buds on Facebook are doing or to look at that funny picture you took of your cat 6 months ago ( and if you’re avoiding a date by doing so, you might want to reconsider the date). Regardless, our phones can do wonderful things for people and families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to connect on such a personal level.
Has your phone helped you become closer in your relationships with others? What apps do you use to connect? Let me know in the comments!