Put down your phone and talk to people!

Jenee Johnson
Opinions Editor

Our generation is spoiled. We have cell phones, tablets, PCs and every Apple product under the sun. With all this technology at our disposal, we have forgotten one of the most primitive and important abilities we have: verbal communication. We place less emphasis on interacting with each other in person and having real conversations face-to-face.
“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction,” Albert Einstein once said, “The world will have a generation of idiots.”
I would not go as far as calling our generation a bunch of idiots, but I am afraid that Einstein was right, and we might have reached that point.
I have been in situations where all the people I see just sit and take out their phones first thing, before talking to one another or asking about someone else’s day. It seems like everyone, including myself, are guilty of this. We love to text, “Snapchat,” Facebook each other, play games, check Instagram and all kinds of things involving our phones more so than actually being with each other. We would do all this before even thinking of verbally communicating.
Most of us are busy and time is precious, so taking time to sit down and interact with friends is time well spent. Some people would rather not speak to people in person, whether it is because of the stress of telling someone exactly how they feel or being preoccupied with other activities, phone related or otherwise.
I think face-to-face conversations are one indication of being honest because, when you are speaking right in front of someone, you cannot hide behind a text. Also, there is less miscommunication because things can be misread and you have more indicators like tone and body language instead of a strong of periods or emoticons.
There is always the stress of talking to someone that you feel attracted to, because when confessing your feelings you are always aware of the chance that you might be rejected. I want to commend the “VWC Crush” page on Facebook because people are telling the world of Facebook how they feel, anonymously or not. However, this just reinforces how likely we are to use technology instead of personal communication. They are hiding behind technology. Just say “screw it!” and strike up a conversation with someone and you will eventually get to know them and see what happens.
Talking to people is simple. Start with a pleasant smile, a wave or just say “hello” to get the ball rolling. Ask about common interests or about school and let it flow from there. But do it to their face instead of via a keypad on your phone or laptop.
Put down your phone; once you look up from that small screen, you never know who you are going to meet.