Screens: An illusion of comfort

When I look back at my daily routine for a span of a month, I do not recall one day where I would wake up or sleep without a screen in my hand, whether it were my laptop or my iPhone. Truth is, this is the reality of more than half of our generation, if not all.

Screens do have their advantages because they facilitated our lives immensely by being a portal for communicating with faraway faces as well as immersing us with knowledge that we would’ve spent days or hours to find if we were living in the ‘70’s.

However, my personal concern is that it has had many repercussions on us socially and emotionally, to say the least.

My phone is my personal vessel of anxiety. It feeds into my depression by constantly pestering me with fake relationships, photos of strangers, constant news updates and keeps me from doing what I truly want to do.

We have become fixated on those machines that when we go out with our friends, families, or significant others, we spend more time staring at those screens than trying to build a solid conversation.

Emotionally and socially, screens are an escape from the uncomfortable. When things become awkward, we directly pick up our phones. When we are angry, we pick up our phones. When we are sad, we also pick up our phones. When we want to laugh, we pick up our phones. We basically resort to our phones to ignite or avoid any type of emotion.

Let me take WhatsApp as an example. When we are bored we tend to reach out to our contact list and open up a random conversation rather than call our friends and make a plan. When someone doesn’t answer our text within 10 minutes, we begin to rage. We run a conversation for hours, but once we meet in person we blank out.

Truth is, screens have made us shy, lonely, and fearful. I wish we could go back to the days where phones didn’t exist, where we would actually have to meet people in coffee shops, pubs, and public spaces rather than walk around staring at our phones like robots.

I really want to go one full day without worrying about having to respond to my phone or using it in general, but I know that can’t happen.

Even our parents have become so used to calling us and texting us every minute of the day that they don’t give us the freedom or independence of spending the day without contacting them. Phones have made us so dependent rather than adventurous.

Oh, and it doesn’t stop there, it is not enough to put ourselves in danger but also the people around us. What is this habit where no one can drive anymore without having their phone in their hand. Can’t the conversation wait 10 extra minutes?

I can go on for hours, but my point is that we are educated enough to do something about this. We all have our psychological problems and most of them have rooted from some sort of medium, whether our phones or not. But, this really has to stop.

When you wake up, read a book, drink coffee or open up a conversation with your flatmate. When you’re driving, listen to music and unwind. When with friends, leave your phone at home. When you’re eating enjoy every bite. When you go out, make it a mission to meet someone new and have a conversation. Don’t rely on your screen to solve any issue you may have, solve it yourself, with your own effort. Bring serenity back into your lives, I’m surely going to try.