By Kirstin Haller, For The Miami Student
We never look up anymore. I encourage some of my friends to do it because it’s truly fascinating. Everyone is glued to a screen. It’s like the walking dead — masses of students amble toward their respective classes every day, mindlessly staring at their iPhones, oblivious to what is happening around them. If you look up from a seat in the back row, a lecture hall is a sea of online shopping websites, Facebook feeds and strings of iMessage conversations.
Observing these 21st century zombies may be entertaining but it makes you question the power that technology holds over our lives. Fundamentally, phones, laptops, tablets and myriad other emerging technological advancements are meant to connect people. However, the increased ability to know the every waking moments of our acquaintance’s days, the less we connect with the people physically around us. Technology is sufficiently ruining the way we communicate.
The cons of our communicative technologies today outweigh the pros in almost every way when it comes to personal relationships. I maintain my long-standing theory that texting was, in fact, created by Satan himself with his creational encore of read-receipts. Anything that causes a small army of girls to assemble in efforts to decode a single cryptic, half-assed text from a hung-over frat bro is nothing short of the devil’s work.
Speaking of timeless romance, Tinder is gaining popularity on college campuses almost as fast as the subsequent spread of the directly related venereal diseases. If you have never heard of this app, good for you, it essentially gives you a picture of another willing user under the similar assumption of a casual hookup in your general vicinity for you to either accept or reject. You are given a few chosen pictures, an age, a location creepily measured in terms of how many miles away they are from your and, lastly, a short bio.
Within a few minutes anyone can be on his or her way to meet up with someone who was a stranger yesterday. And the cynics think romance is dead.
Real dates are a rarity and have somehow evolved into meeting up at bars and coming over to “Netflix and chill.” Dating has become an all encompassing game of hard to get, mixed signals and the ultimate desire to avoid getting tied down where the reward for winning is simply the empty praise #relationshipgoals.
Human interaction is slowly being valued less and less and creating a desirable image of a virtual reality through Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook is becoming the social precedent. It doesn’t matter if you had a good time as long as it looks like you did.
Every aspect of our lives has become exponentially more public than it has ever been before. Though the current collegiate population is relatively young in the grand scheme of things, there is definitely a marked difference in where we were collectively in middle and early high school and now in terms of how much we use technology.
Because it’s so widespread, so much of our self-esteem is tied into how we are perceived by our peers on social media. Technology is taking over our human interaction with the people around us and is controlling our emotions more than it should. Log out of Tinder and join a club, go to places for the experiences not the pictures and take a second to look up every now and then.