Busy Signal

Phone stacking at the dinner table is one way to facilitate more face to face conversations.
Emily Hirshorn 15

Phone stacking at the dinner table is one way to facilitate more face to face conversations. Emily Hirshorn ’15

Phone stacking at the dinner table is one way to facilitate more face to face conversations. Courtesy of Emily Hirshorn '15
Phone stacking at the dinner table is one way to facilitate more face to face conversations.
Courtesy of Emily Hirshorn ’15

Is it wrong that it took an iPhone update for me to finally turn my phone off?

Yes, that’s right. A black-screen-apple-logo-in-the-center kind of turned off. And, to be honest, it was only because I “had to.” I decided to see what all the hype was about and downloaded the new iOS 7. Prior to this software update which forced my phone to be turned off, my phone was always on. And, to whomever it may concern, do not worry, it is never used in phone-prohibited areas during the school day.

I do not know why I can never bring myself to turn my phone off. I guess it is because if I waste time waiting for the home screen to return, the world will whizz by me and leave me behind. During the time that I hold down the lock button, wait for the screen to go dark, and finally see the Apple logo reappear after what feels like forever, I am missing out on important updates. My phone acts as a living notification center, constantly transmitting text messages, Instagram updates, Twitter mentions, Facebook notifications and, as the conscientious student that I am, emails from my teachers.

Even though I can understand this conundrum, if I were to observe someone else living, or rather trapped, in this endless cycle of constantly refreshing news feeds, I would be disturbed. maybe even concerned about the lack of fresh air, eye contact and social skills that dominate this lifestyle.

Fortunately, there is a way to fight severe cases of attachment to phones. A clever tactic to beat the laconic, technology centered, “awkward silence” dinners is phone stacking. For example, when eating at a restaurant with friends, all attendees must place his or her phone on the table in an organized, vertically directed pile for the entirety of the dinner. The catch? Anyone who looks at his or her phone first must suffer a consequence, such as paying for the meal. This is a start in reversing our dependency on our phones and constant desire to be “connected” to the world through gigabytes and white space. And I, for one, won’t resist such efforts.

Thankfully, I am not yet at the point where it is uncomfortable for me to make eye contact or struggle to make and sustain a conversation (unless certain situations call for it). However, for the sake of my evolution, I would prefer that the majority of time I spend with my friends is face to face. Besides, I have only have 16 cycles left in the school year to make it happen.

 – Molly Geisinger, News Editor