The other day I was in line at Starbucks and there were around ten people there. Out of those ten, eight were on their phone. While it’s somewhat understandable that people would be playing with their phones in line, it represents one more wasted opportunity to meet new people and socialize with them. Sadly, while technology is great in many ways, it’s also very limiting especially when it turns people inward.
In the past we were able to have breaks from technology. A person couldn’t take a TV or phone to dinner, a sporting event, a night out with friends, etc. People were forced to be social. There were no distractions or, more accurately, crutches to stop them from social interaction.
Now, a lot of men and women go out to do social activities and for all practical purposes they’re sitting at home in front of a computer or a TV. Instead of talking with friends, meeting new people, and having a good time, they escape from social realities via a smart phone.
While things like social media, YouTube, and other apps are useful and entertaining, there are people today who escape from reality when they rarely even engage in reality to begin with. They have no social skills and find engagement in the real world painful and difficult.
My advice? Put down your phone. That’s right. When you go out, focus on meeting new people, interacting with your friends, and making people enjoy your presence. Phones are very useful, even socially. You can use them to arrange going out, get to know people better, etc. However, when you’re going out and it’s time to be social (or there’s a chance to be social), just put it down.
I promise you that if those people in line at Starbucks had actually talked to the rest of those in line with them, their lives would be much richer and more meaningful. They might have made a new friend or gotten a partner out of it.