The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Texting Killed the Relationship Star

3 min read

I told my mom I needed an iPhone because I’m a “professional” now. In the world of college delusion, “intern” translates to “professional,” right?

Obviously I need an iPhone for email, CNN news feeds, Associated Press updates, tweeting when exciting, newsworthy events happen, and taking pictures of Paula Deen at Wegman’s.

But really, all I want is Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Anyone today, especially a journalist, without a smartphone is seen as a dinosaur. But really, when was the last time you saw a black and white Nokia flip phone? iPhones and Androids dominate the market.

Last week, my best friend drove over his iPhone with a forklift. I’m still not entirely sure how that happens, but I do know that he is dying without it. Let boredom ring, since your apps can’t make a sound anymore.

But how hooked are we on our phones? Have you ever forgotten your phone somewhere and felt like a piece of your soul was missing? I kind of hope so, because that means I’m not crazy and/or too attached to an electronic device.

It must have been awkward at lunch and dinner tables when no one had anything to say and didn’t have anything to pretend they were busy with. That must have been torture, to make small talk without t9 or auto-correct.

As a society, we have ventured into dangerous territory. We’re beyond the stage of walking into poles because we aren’t looking, because we just got the joke of the day from the subscription that cost $9.99. Smartphones aren’t only taking over our entertainment; they’re taking over our lives.

I’m almost positive that if you studied people from generations before cell phones and then compared this to a study of people immersed in the word of texts, tweets and status updates, you would find that the people who lived without cell phones are much better at communicating with others verbally, unafraid to hide behind technology.

But I’m not a psychologist, or even a psychology major. I’m just a girl who gets tired of hearing people say they are “scared to talk on the phone,” even to order a pizza. The boys over at Primavera aren’t going to jump out of the phone and grab you, are they? But, I guess you don’t have to worry about even calling for pizza orders over the phone anymore, since everything is possible over the Internet.

This is where personality ends and technology begins. Talking to people over the phone can only get you so much information.

Instead of using it as a way to communicate, we are replacing our relationships with Facebook profiles, texting and phone conversations, which basically just says to everyone, “I’m too lazy to leave my cave, sponsored by Steve Jobs, to have a real relationship with you. Sorry.”

But, this is where you must make the decision yourself: to live a virtual life, or to live a real one.

Too bad iPhone apps are so tempting.