Being Present

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I cannot tell you the number of times my friends have been texting as I am talking to them. They’ll constantly be typing throughout dinner and don’t hear what I say. Talking to someone who’s texting is like talking to a brick wall, and it makes me mad because I feel like I’m wasting my breath. Not only does it make me mad, it makes me sad.


Sad because they’re making it difficult for us to build a friendship. If my friend could just put the phone down for an evening then maybe we would become closer. Now, I understand if the person is having family issues and needs to text their mom or something. But then communicate that to me! I wouldn’t want to get angry because I assumed it’s them just texting a friend or going on Instagram.


And yes, I have had a friend just go on Instagram as I’m talking. It’s like a slap to the face. Am I not worth your time? It makes me insecure because I wonder if I am a boring person to be around. I’ve literally seen Instagram pictures that people post of their friends where the friend is on their phone and I can’t help but think: What is the point of spending time together if they’re not even going to be present? Why do you think it’s a nice picture of them? They’re not even giving you the time of day!


Our generation has enough anxiety as it is, so putting down the phone could help us all worry a little less. You’d think it’d be the other way around because we feel like our phones are our security, but I personally think they just put us all way more on edge.


Our phones give us the opportunity to constantly check the time, so we are anxious about time. They give us the opportunity to fill any sort of silence or void in our day with endless scrolling so we don’t have to endure awkward pauses or elevator rides. Our phones even give us the opportunity to communicate with many people at once, which is so amazing, but it’s gotten to the point where I feel like all of our conversations are surface level. We are spreading ourselves so thin that it’s hard to have meaningful connections.


What will it take for all of us to be present?


I want friends who I can spend time with, who I can share my ideas with, who I can have meaningful connections with. Some people may do this with friends online through their phone, and that’s great. But personally, phones just get in the way of my friends and I living in the moment. Not everything needs to be shared on social media. Not every moment needs a photo to prove it happened. I want memories that will last, which I can have by using my brain.


Instagram and Facebook aren’t forever, they’re just apps in a phone that will anyways end up in a recycling center or dump. These programs are not tangible. They may have started out innocently, but now these apps just feel like buffers for everyday life—and obstacles for deepening relationships.

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We are real, this life is real. It seems simple but I feel like we get so wrapped up in our phones that we forget these things. Life is so beautiful, we need to be present for it.

Photo Courtesy of The Lila Croad