Don’t be that guy: Digital fugitive

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You’re missing out when you hide in your devices

By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Writer

Laptops and smartphones have revolutionized our ways of communicating, our ways of paying for coffee, even how we read the morning paper. People in the modern world can’t get enough of these devices. After all, laptops and phones have allowed us to do so much more than we could do 10, even five years ago.

However, these devices come with a price that is greater than their monetary value. They lead to thousands upon thousands of people behaving like That Guy.

People like That Guy hide in their phones, opting to see the newest update on Facebook rather than addressing the server taking their order. If you walk onto any given bus, I can guarantee that at least half of the vehicle’s occupants are nothing more than That Guy.

They are slaves to their screens. If they were to lose their phones, they would turn into a nervous wreck.

What do other people see when you are looking at your phone?

Perhaps you use your devices to catch up on the news or read a book. But what I see is someone so absorbed that they shouldn’t be bothered. If I saw you holding a physical book or newspaper, it would open up the path to conversation.

“What book are you reading? Did you hear about what happened?”

I have had some fantastic discussions with total strangers due to acknowledging something. Some of these people have grown from strangers to friends. Yet none of those conversations started with, “What’s on your screen?” Because that would be considered intrusive.

That Guy may even be so captivated by their phone that they are glued to it in the presence of company; be that a family gathering, an outing with friends, or even a date.

I’m not saying you can’t check your phone in emergencies, by all means. However, when you stare at a screen instead of enjoying the time you have with those you care about, you are essentially saying, “My Twitter is more interesting than you are.”

Maybe it’s the truth. Maybe your Twitter is more interesting than the people in your surroundings. Maybe you don’t even care much for the people you are with. Even if that’s the case, it is very rude to opt for your device instead of human interaction.

There is a time and a place for checking your social media and browsing the Internet, and I’m not trying to shame those who enjoy it. Yet it is also important to practice some self-control and to balance your usage with some genuine interactions. After all, they make for better memories than the 16GB on your iPhone.