Published: Friday, February 14, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 15:02
It snowed last Wednesday on the Hill, and after looking out longingly at the eight accumulated inches, my roommates and I trudged outside to the back of Figge to go sledding. Fellow Figge seniors watched us from their back windows, some waving at the – I’m sure – ridiculous sight of three bundled-up-girls, slightly pudgy in layers of sweatpants and jackets. We went out on impulse, and it was well worth it. We made our own little path along the hillside and, somehow, managed to gain some speed sliding – and hysterical laughing – down.
Yet as soon as we were back in our apartment, all three of us had a second, probably much more typical of Holy Cross students, impulse: we stripped off our snowy layers and ran to our phones. You know the feeling. Whether it’s just to text a friend or to take (I’ll admit) a wonderfully addicting Buzzfeed quiz (“What Disney Princess Romance are You?”), we’re all guilty of succumbing to the iPhone app and social media craze.
Of course, there must be a reason we all love our phones; they provide endless entertainment and connection to our friends and the world, yet often ironically distract us from the world right in front of us. Last semester, I wrote an article questioning the growth of technology in the last ten years that described my eleven-year-old brother and his new LG phone. Well, this semester he received a second new technological treat: an iPad, free of charge for the spring, from his public middle school. Indeed, the iPad is used for a few school assignments; but it can also be used to play games, adding to his slightly obsessive love of online gaming. I asked him today, “Why don’t you go play outside in the snow?” Annoyed, he responded, “No, it’s cold out! No one is even out there!” as he played Angry Birds on the iPad.
Sure, we were all 90’s kids– we grew up on a healthy dose of Hey Arnold and Rocket Power, turning off our TVs to either go to sports practices, boy/girl scout meetings, or the like; and kids my brothers age, the “millennium babies,” still have extra-curricular activities and (not as cool) television shows to devour. Yet, our entertainment was made up of limited, finite activities – we came home from soccer practice, the episodes of Doug ended. The social media taking up our time and my brother’s time, however, has no real time limit– and worse, no (also ironically) real “social” element to develop his face-to-face social skills. Imagine being in middle school today. I know I couldn’t be there, with a bunch of pre-teen, fighting-to-fit-in students not only running around, but running around with IPhones– and now, too, with iPads.
Is it really necessary to “go in” to our isolated iPhone, Mac, or iPad bubbles as often as we do? It scares me that the first thing my friends and I do when we spend time together is document our every move – our fancy entrees and drinks at a restaurant, our outfits going out on a Friday night. It scares me that my friends and I go out sledding only to come back in and, instead of sitting still and taking in the fun moment, go back into the iPhone domain. Do you remember what it was like before we lived with iPhones? Or perhaps a better question to leave you with: do you want to remember?