Connect with life, reality

With e-mail at our fingertips, text messages in an instant and the Internet wherever we go, are we becoming too dependent on technological advances?

Looking at the BlackBerry, iPhone and Treo communication devices may cause some to wonder how we survived as a society without them.

The progression in technology is handicapping our generation when it comes to how we interact with one another on a personal basis. Instead of actually talking to people in person, text messages are sent to convey thoughts.

This isn’t a bad idea if you’re in class or bored at work, but it’s gotten to the point where people would rather have a full-fledged conversation via text message rather than an actual dialogue in person. The art of conversation has become a dying form of interaction within our generation.

Please don’t think I’m putting myself on a higher pedestal and saying I don’t do the same thing. There’s been a multitude of times when I’ve been guilty of the aforementioned in-depth text conversation or the ever-embarrassing “drunk text” that seems to bite you in the butt when you see what you wrote the next morning.

I first realized how dependent I was on cell-phones during winter break last year. Out of nowhere my beloved BlackBerry Curve, which has been glued to my hand since I got it in October, decided it was going to crash on me right in the middle of my vacation! At that moment, my vacation ended.

I lost all 200 phone numbers, even though I probably don’t talk to about 175 of those people anyway. There wasn’t an Internet to use while I sped down the highway looking at Facebook, and, most importantly, no way to send impersonal Christmas greetings via text message when the holiday rolled around!

Dear God, how was I going to survive? I’m being sarcastic, but you would have thought my world was coming to an end when my phone crashed on me.

After I came to terms with my loss, I got this strange sense of release and relaxation. I didn’t feel the need to check my phone every five minutes to see if I got a new text or an e-mail.

Anwouldn’t you know it actually felt good. Connections are always more sincere when you get to know people through personal interactions rather than a series of lifeless, and often-times misspelled, sentences sent from your cell phone.

As a generation we need to stop depending on technology so much.

Power-off that cell phone for an hour and reboot some life into your relationships with a good, old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation.

Mike McLafferty is a senior magazine production student from Port Charlotte. He can be reached at